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

Sales of “Judgment” will be halted in Japan after one of the voice actors was arrested for cocaine use, according to a statement released Wednesday from SEGA (translation courtesy of Kotaku).

Pierre Taki, an actor and musician was arrested after police received tips and searched his car and domicile. Though no cocaine was found, Taki was given a urine test which positively identified cocaine use, according to Nippon. Taki is one of the stars in PlayStation 4 game “Judgment,” which is a spin-off of the popular “Yakuza” series of video games. Taki voices Kyohei Hamura in the game, and the character also appears to share a likeness in appearance with Taki.

SEGA is still considering next steps, though it would be difficult to completely replace Taki at this point, considering the game was released last year in Japan.

CREDIT: SEGA

“Judgment” is coming to western players on June 25, 2019, according to the official website. It is not clear at this time whether or not the halted sales in Japan will affect the release of the game’s release elsewhere. The western release has a different cast of voice actors providing the English version of the game.

A PR company that works with SEGA on “Judgment” did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

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.

“With the refrain from selling, tweets about [“Judgment”] have been deleted,” one of the tweets (below) says, according to an auto-translation by Microsoft “Thank you for your understanding.”

Taki, who is also known as one of the members of synthpop group Denki Groove, also provided voice work in the Japanese versions of “Kingdom Hearts III” and the movie “Frozen.

Due to the charges, he may also be replaced in his role as Olaf in the upcoming Disney movie “Frozen 2”, according to Asahi News via Kotaku.

 

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