Sega has been remarkably silent about its adventure game Judgment following the suspension of its sales in Japan due to the arrest of an actor following a drug bust. Yet, today, a voice was heard.
Yakuza Producer Daisuke Sato took to Twitter to offer a few words, expressing a strong will to bring the game back at some point.
— 佐藤大輔@龍が如くスタジオ/龍が如く4 好評発売中！ (@satod_cs1) March 13, 2019
“I will not end it like this.
I won’t let it be as if it never happened.
One day, surely, I will make it rise again”
While this is unlikely to be representative of the official position of the company, such strong words are comforting. It’s also not surprising considering the massive amount of work that has been taken away from the public eye due to completely unrelated events.
If you’re not familiar with the events, actor, and musician Pierre Taki, who plays the role of Yakuza officer Kyohei Hamura in the game, was arrested during a drug bust in Tokyo, reportedly accused of owning and using cocaine.
As a consequence, Sega and other companies (including Sony Music Entertainment) withdrew from sale products in which Taki-san was involved. This includes Judgment.
Unfortunately, this is one of those anachronistic byproducts of Japanese corporate culture, which tends to react violently whenever celebrities get in trouble, pretty literally trying to erase any trace of involvement with them in order to save face.
While Sega has not clarified whether the sales will ever be resumed, they have been completely silent on the topic since, and have deleted every social media post, trailer, and even the official website in Japan.
On the other hand, while the western arms of Sega have been equally silent (and have not responded to Twinfinite’s request for information at the moment of this writing), they have not deleted any of the game’s promotional materials in North America and Europe. The official website is also still available.
Yet, it’s not known whether this snag will affect the western launch of the game, which is scheduled for June 25.