Yakuza Spin-off Judgment Pulled from Sale in Japan After Drugs Scandal

SEGA recently released Yakuza spin-off Judgment into the wild, but the game's availability has since been halted. Taki is being held in Koto Ward and may face a prison sentence of up to seven years for possession or use of cocaine. "For the time being, we will voluntarily refrain from shipments and digital sales of Judgment, as well as from things like posting the product's homepage". Taki is also slated to voice Olaf in the Japanese release of Frozen 2 (as well as Kingdom Hearts 3), and Disney is now looking to replace him in that role. Sega has also begun deleting all tweets related to the game. However, Taki was arrested last night, and a urine test turned up positive results for cocaine.

Taki is an actor and musician known for being a member of the band Denki Groove and the voice of snowman Olaf in the Japanese dubbing of Disney's Frozen. At the time of writing, the game is still available on the PlayStation Store in Hong Kong and other regions in Asia. It said it was still studying what further action to take on the game. Publisher SEGA has stated that the Western release, currently due to hit USA and Europe in June, is now "under consideration".

A PR company that works with SEGA on "Judgment" did not immediately respond to Variety's request for comment. In the re-release of Yakuza 4, main character Masoyashi Tanimura was recast following the same allegations.

CREDIT SEGA
CREDIT SEGA

"In Japan, that's not a publicity plus". All this fuss may seem a bit overblown to Western eyes, particularly given Taki is playing a mob boss in a video game for adults, but Japan has a very stringent anti-drug culture and accompanying laws.

Entertainers who are caught with illegal substances are treated incredibly harshly in Japan, often being replaced in movies or written out of TV shows.

"With a final product already in circulation in Japan, I can not believe Sega will keep the game hidden away from sight for long".

Vanessa Coleman

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