Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, the team behind the Yakuza series, has provided an update on its upcoming PS4 title Judgment. The game became embroiled in a controversy when Japanese voice actor Pierre Taki was linked to drug use, something which is treated very severely in Japan. In a tweet, the developer said the character model and voice for Taki’s character, Kyohei Hamura, will be adjusted for its western release.
Additionally, screenshots and trailers featuring Taki’s character have been “temporarily removed from all of Sega’s official channels.” In the future, this material will be made available again with the adjustments reflected in them, Sega confirmed.
Judgment is already available in Japan, but sales of the game were halted while the investigation surrounding the drug use was conducted. Taki later admitted to using cocaine and tested positive for it. Judgment’s western release date has not been delayed and it will be available on June 25.
As previously mentioned, Japan has very strict drug laws and the use of drugs has severe consequences, especially for those in the public eye. In addition to being removed from Judgment by Sega, Disney has also stopped sales of Frozen, in which Taki voices Olaf. Japanese publication Asahi News has reported that Disney is also looking at replacing him for Frozen 2.
Judgment is a narrative-driven game that serves as a spin-off from the Yakuza series. Players assume the role of investigator Takayuki Yagami, who is looking into grisly crimes in Kamurocho, which is the Kabukicho, Tokyo-inspired setting for the Yakuza games.