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The Judgment release date will remain the same in the West. However, the actor at the center of a drug scandal will be removed. The speculation over what Sega would do regarding Judgment’s western release came after the game was pulled from sale in Japan. The removal followed drug charges for voice actor Pierre Taki who voices Kyohei Hamura in Judgment.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the character model and Japanese voice for the character of Kyohei Hamura will be adjusted for the Western release of Judgment, launching on June 25, 2019.
— SEGA (@SEGA) March 22, 2019
Sega revealed the planned western Judgment release date was still on the cards in a tweet. Sega did not name Taki but stated Kyohei Hamura would have his character model and voice adjusted for the game’s western release date. Sega confirmed Judgment’s release date would remain June 25, 2019. In a follow-up tweet, Sega explained screenshots and trailers featuring Taki’s likeness have been “temporarily removed” from the company’s official channel. They will be re-uploaded as updated versions. It remains to be seen what will happen to Judgment in Japan. The game has been out since late 2019 but has not been sold since the scandal broke. Sega is yet to give an update on the Japanese status of Judgment.
Judgment release date in western countries was put in jeopardy following the arrest of voice actor Pierre Taki for drug offenses. Drug offenses are taken extremely seriously in Japan, and the Yakuza series has had to make changes previously as a result. The changes made previously were the result of an accusation rather than a charge so this time around, with Taki found guilty, a significant reaction was expected. We looked into the reaction and how it represents cultural differences between Japan and the West.
Now the western Judgment release date is confirmed for later in the year, fans can begin to look ahead. Before the scandal emerged, it was revealed digital orders of Judgment would give players access to the game four days early. If you are looking to find out more about the Yakuza spin-off before its release, GameRevolution has a Judgment preview.
Judgment is slated to be released on June 25 (June 21 for digital versions) on the PlayStation 4.