Sega pulls 'Judgement' sales following voice actor's cocaine arrest

  • Sega pulls 'Judgement' sales following voice actor's cocaine arrest

Sega pulls 'Judgement' sales following voice actor's cocaine arrest

Taki is an actor and musician known for being a member of the band Denki Groove and the voice of snowman Olaf in the Japanese dubbing of Disney's Frozen.

Promotional tweets have been deleted, and even the official Japanese website is inaccessible with a redirect to the press release mentioned above.

The actor was arrested for the alleged use of cocaine. Japan has incredibly strict drug laws, and as Kotaku noted, Sega's decision isn't unprecedented: Universal Music Japan once stopped selling a pop duo's music after one of them was arrested for the possession of MDMA. Earlier this week, the 51-year-old Masanori Taki admitted to using cocaine and was arrested after testing positive to the drug. Judgment, which is called Judge Eyes: Shinigami no Yuigon in Japan, features the voice and likeness of Mr Taki - who plays a Yakuza gangster called Kyohei Hamura.

"Sega has received the arrest reports and are now confirming the facts, but for the time being, we will voluntarily refrain from shipments and digital sales of [Judgment], as well as from things like posting the product's homepage", the company said in a statement, as translated by the games website Gematsu.

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

No word on whether western release is affected. It has to be heartbreaking for everybody involved with creating, localizing, and promoting the game both inside and outside of Japan.

A PR company that works with SEGA on "Judgment" did not immediately respond to Variety's request for comment. In the re-release of Yakuza 4, main character Masoyashi Tanimura was recast following the same allegations. Police are now trying to ascertain how often the actor may use the drug and from where he obtained it. Japan has a strong stance on drug use and the crime can come with a sentence of up to seven years. Given that the rest of the Yakuza series is being gradually ported to PC, however, it's possible that a PC release of the spin-off could be under consideration.

This isn't the first time Sega has taken a strong stance against drug use by its employees.