Drug Charge Results in Halted Sales of ‘Yakuza’ Spin-Off Game ‘Judgment’

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Drug Charge Results in Halted Sales of ‘Yakuza’ Spin-Off Game ‘Judgment’

After a tip from Fuji TV, narcotics officers search Taki's home and vehicle.

The actor was arrested for reportedly using cocaine, which apparently violates Japan's drug control laws.

With the intensity of social stigma surrounding drug use in Japan likely providing pressure, SEGA has opted to not only halt sales of the game, but also delete tweets surrounding it.

According to Japan Times, the punishment for possessing or using cocaine in Japan is a prison sentence of up to seven years.

Drug Charge Results in Halted Sales of ‘Yakuza’ Spin-Off Game ‘Judgment’
Drug Charge Results in Halted Sales of ‘Yakuza’ Spin-Off Game ‘Judgment’

"The arrest of Pierre Taki, who is featured in our company's title Judge Eyes, is something we find deeply regrettable". Following the arrest, SEGA issued the following statement concerning the title's availability in Japan: "SEGA has received the arrest reports and are now confirming the facts, but for the time being, we will voluntarily refrain from shipments and digital sales of Judgment, as well as from things like posting on the product's homepage". When Yakuza 4 was re-released in Japan earlier this year, one of its starring roles was recast/re-recorded entirely after the original actor retired following allegations of cocaine use. "We apologize for any trouble this causes our customers or other concerned parties".

"We will notify you of future responses as soon as we determine".

This isn't the first time Sega has taken a strong stance against drug use by its employees. For example, one of Yakuza 4's playable characters was recast when it made its way to the PS4 in Japan, again due to cocaine abuse. It's not known if the suspension will affect the overseas release of the game, which was scheduled for June 25. Newsweek has reached out to Sega for comment, but has yet to recieve as reply. One of its actors is Pierre Taki, who both voices and lends his likeness to organized crime boss Kyohei Hamura. Disney is reportedly trying to get him removed from the upcoming Frozen 2, for which he provided the Japanese voice of Olaf, but that should be a relatively simple substitution.

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