Judgment, the next game from the developers of the Yakuza franchise, will have the character model and Japanese voice of Kyohei Hamura adjusted for the Western release following the arrest of the character's voice actor for alleged drug use, but the release date will not change.
SEGA has also announced that all screenshots and trailers featuring Hamura have been temporarily removed from its official channels and it will be updating these and bringing them back in the future.
This news broke earlier this month when Hamura voice actor Pierre Taki was arrested and confessed to using a small amount of cocaine. If Taki is prosecuted, he could face up to seven years in prison for the offense.
Due to these developments, SEGA stopped all sales of Judgment in Japan, stopped promoting the game online, and all relevant tweets by SEGA's official Twitter were deleted.
There is no word on when Judgment will be back on store shelves and digital marketplaces in Japan, but considering SEGA isn't pushing the release date of Judgment in the West, hopefully it won't be too long until it is available for purchase again for those who are looking forward to this Yakuza spinoff title.
The game still expected to make its release date though. I also find it interesting that they halted shipments of the Japanese version due to the arrest. Your thoughts, SW? Would you have cared if they had not made any changes to the game?