Judgment's Western Release Date Unaffected by Pierre Taki Scandal, Actor's Likeness Being Adjusted
An update on the bizarre saga of Pierre Taki.
03.22.19 - 11:53 AM
In case you missed it, there's been a bit of a kerfuffle regarding Judgment, the Yakuza spin-off title that's already out in Japan and set to release in the West this coming June. After an incident wherein actor Pierre Taki (who plays the character Kyohei Hamura in the game) was arrested for possession and use of cocaine, the game was pulled from Japanese store shelves and Taki's career has been in a tailspin, with Square Enix even redubbing his lines in Kingdom Hearts III (where he voiced Olaf the snowman).
Whether or not Taki's arrest would affect the June 25th Western release date of Judgment was a mystery, but Sega has stated that the game will be releasing as planned. However, the motion-capture and Japanese voice for the Kyohei Hamura character is being "adjusted," likely meaning that Taki's likeness is being purged from the game. Sega has also removed screenshots and other media featuring Taki's character from their official channels, stating that they will be releasing updated materials at a later date.
This isn't the first time this has happened for the Yakuza series: Yakuza 4 famously had a character recasted for its recent rerelease after the actor was accused of cocaine usage. Still, looking in on this scenario from an outside perspective, it seems a little strange that such drastic measures are being taken for Pierre Taki's drug use when far more serious infractions (such as Rurouni Kenshin creator Nobuhiro Watsuki's possession of child pornography, or even the insidious ideology of Dragon Quest composer Koichi Sugiyama) go on with barely a slap on the wrist. Granted, Japan evidently takes drug usage very seriously, but I'm curious as to why this is where we apparently draw the line.
Stay tuned to RPGFan for more coverage of Judgment.