Sega has announced that it will suspend sales of Judgement, a new spinoff of the long-running Yakuza series, due to the arrest of one of the game's voice actors on drug-related charges. The company has removed Judgement from the Playstation store, as well as stopped shipments of physical copies in Japan.
The game has not yet been released outside of Japan, and there's no news yet on whether Sega still plans to localize the game for Western audiences.
The Japan Times reported that Pierre Taki, who did voice and motion capture for Judgement character Kyohei Hamura, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of cocaine use. The police searched Taki's home and car after receiving several tip-offs. Although their search didn't yield anything, Taki's urine tested positive for cocaine, and he admitted to using a small amount earlier in the week.
At this time, the police are searching Taki's mobile phone for more information about his drug use.
In Japan, drug laws are very strictly enforced, and use or possession of cocaine can carry a prison sentence of up to seven years, so this arrest has had a negative impact on Taki's career outside of Judgement as well.
Taki was also the voice actor for Olaf in the Japanese version of Frozen, as well as Kingdom Hearts III. Although there's no word yet on whether changes will be made to the existing movie, Kotaku has reported that Disney plans to replace Taki in the upcoming Frozen 2.
In addition to voice acting, Taki also has a career as a musician and an actor. He is half of popular techno-pop duo Denki Groove and is currently playing a supporting role in NHK's currently airing drama "Idaten."
This is not the first time that a Yakuza cast member has been involved with drugs. In 2018, Hiroki Narimiya was replaced in Yakuza 4, also on cocaine charges.
Judgement was scheduled to arrive in America for the Playstation 4 on June 25. At this time, there's no word from Sega on what their plans are for the game in Japan or the West. Considering Sega went so far as to delete tweets about Judgement from its official Twitter account, it's not looking good.