Sega Halts Sales of Judgment in Japan Following Pierre Taki's Drug-Related ArrestThe actor's other media roles will reportedly be recast.03.16.19 - 7:03 PM
Sales of the popular Yakuza spin-off title Judgement, or Judge Eyes as it's known in Japan, have been abruptly halted, including a pause in shipments of the title until further notice, following recent drug-related allegations against Japanese actor and musician Pierre Taki. Taki, who lends his voice and likeness to Tojo Clan captain Kyohei Hamura in the game, recently admitted to using cocaine and was arrested after testing positive for cocaine use.
Japan is renowned for its zero-tolerance policy on illegal substance use and possession, which often includes media blacklisting of a performer's media catalog. This stance on drugs previously led to the recasting of Hiroki Narimiya's character in the HD re-release of Yakuza 4, following his forced retirement from acting over similar cocaine-related allegations in 2016.
Outside of his role as Hamura in Judgment, Taki is perhaps best known for providing the Japanese voice for Olaf, the lovable snowman in Disney's smash hit animated feature, Frozen. Following the announcement that Square Enix will be replacing Taki as the voice of Olaf in the Japanese release of Kingdom Hearts III through a future update, new reports from Asahi News indicate that Disney is also looking to recast Olaf's Japanese voice for Frozen 2.
Sega has yet to announce any plans to recast Taki, though any decision to replace his character could potentially delay the game's previously announced release timing in the West. Speaking about the issues on his personal Twitter account, Sega/Atlus localization producer Scott Strichart said, "I havenít tweeted anything all week, and out of respect to everyone waiting for answers, will not do so (beyond this one right here) until you have them. Thank you for your patience and your faith."
Judgment was originally released on PlayStation 4 in Japan on December 13th, 2018.