Sega halts game shipment after actor arrested on drug charge

Sega halts game shipment after actor arrested on drug charge

In a odd and surprising round of news, Sega has announced that it has stopped physical shipments and digital sales of the Yakuza spinoff Judgment in Japan following the arrest of actor Pierre Taki.

The Mainichi News reports that 51-year-old Taki confessed to using a small amount of cocaine, and police are now searching for further evidence.

We have received arrest reports and are now confirming the facts, but for the time being we have made a decision to refrain from shipping and DL sales of the product and posting of product HP etc. According to news reports, police searched Taki's vehicle and house based on tips, and no drugs were found, but Taki himself tested positive for cocaine use. The investigators were acting on information that the 51-year-old Taki (legal name Masanori Taki) was using cocaine. Taki not only added his voice and likeness to Judgment, but also did motion capture work for his character, Kyohei Hamura. "We apologize for any trouble this causes our customers or other concerned parties". The game is scheduled for worldwide release on June 25th, and it's now unclear if Sega will delay its launch or push through with its original plan. Taki is also slated to voice Olaf in the Japanese release of Frozen 2 (as well as Kingdom Hearts 3), and Disney is now looking to replace him in that role. SEGA Japan released a statement saying it was still confirming facts and figuring out its next best step.

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As well as halting shipments and digital sales, Sega has said it will delete tweets relating to the game.

But it is his role in a video game that is attracting the most controversy. Publisher SEGA has stated that the Western release, currently due to hit United States and Europe in June, is now "under consideration". 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.

Taki plays a gangster in the game, both as a computer graphic and voice actor.

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