UPDATE: After a week or so of uncertainty, SEGA has provided an update on the western release of Judgment, and it’s good news.
Posting on social media, both SEGA and the studio behind Judgment have confirmed that it will still release in North America and Europe on June 25, 2019 as planned.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, the character model and Japanese voice for the character of Kyohei Hamura will be adjusted for the Western release of Judgment, launching on June 25, 2019.”
Pierre Taki, who was arrested due to cocaine allegations earlier this month will be completely replaced in the Japanese dub prior to Judgment’s western release. It’s safe to assume the original version will also be changed.
Original story follows.
Sega Japan has pulled Judgment from physical and digital sale in Japan following a recent controversy.
The Yakuza spin-off was released for Japanese audiences in December 2018 and has seemingly been well received by critics and fans.
Now, it has been taken down from store shelves followed allegations put toward Pierre Taki, an actor who portrays a character in Judgment.
Taki’s home and car were searched following tips regarding cocaine possession. While none was found, he was arrested after testing positive for the drug.
Speaking in a brief statement, Sega has described the situation as “highly regrettable” and is still deciding on the best course of action.
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Drug laws in Japan are far stricter when compared to western countries, somewhat due to an epidemic following America’s Occupation during World War 2. It’s a complicated issue, that much is for sure.
It is often viewed extremely negatively and linked to organised crime and disconnect from society. As expected, criminal punishment for such offences can result in large fines and prison sentences.
What this means for the western release of Judgment, or Judge Eyes as it’s known in Japan, remains unclear. It’s currently set to launch on June 25, 2019 with both Japanese and English language options.
While the fate of Judgment outside of Japan remains unclear, we sincerely hope the eventual release isn’t affected, since we had a blast playing it recently:
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‘Judgment doesn’t rewrite the rulebook Yakuza has strictly abided by for over a decade now, but it does tear out a few pages and make its own mark with some brave yet innovative changes to the formula.
Takayuki Yagami is a brilliant lead who immediately elicits sympathy, throwing us onto the trail of a tantilising mystery I cannot wait to see unfold.’
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