Judgment (video game)
Judgment[a] is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Sega for the PlayStation 4. Initially developed under the codename Project Judge, the game is a spin-off of the Yakuza series. The game was released on December 13, 2018 in Japan and set for a worldwide release in June 2019. It stars Japanese actor Takuya Kimura. In March 2019, it was pulled from sales in Japan following the arrest of one of the game's actors, Pierre Taki.
Judgment is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective. The game is a legal thriller set in the Yakuza world of Kamurocho and follows private detective Takayuki Yagami as he investigates a serial murder case. It stars Japanese actor Takuya Kimura and employs a fighting system similar to that of Yakuza 0 where players can change into different styles. Additionally, the game features an investigation mode where the player must find traces of the criminal. When asked about similarities regarding both franchises, Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi stated that "location and assets might be the same, but the gameplay and story here are drastically different".
Scott Strichart, localization producer for the Yakuza series, insisted that the English language release have two subtitle tracks—one for the Japanese audio English subtitles that matches the Japanese translation and another for the English dub that matches the spoken dialogue.
Media Create weekly sales database reveal the game to have a strong opening in its first week in Japan at 148,246 retail sales. As of January 13, 2019, Media Create revealed those numbers to have reached 240,293 retail sales.
On March 13, 2019, Sega halted all sales of the game throughout Japan after Pierre Taki, a Japanese actor whose voice and likeness were used for the character Kyohei Hamura, was arrested by officers of the Narcotics Control Department of Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for allegations that he possessed and used cocaine. Sega did not comment on whether the arrest would affect the western release. The NCD mentioned that Taki was being investigated since last year based on tips from unnamed sources before Taki was requested to undergo a urine exam.
Following Pierre Taki's arrest, Yakuza Studios producer Daisuke Sato tweeted that he would not allow Taki's arrest to interrupt the game's success nor let Taki's contribution to the game be erased, while CyberConnect 2’s President Hiroshi Matsuyama criticized companies that cease commercialization of its products if a person related to its work is arrested. Sega later stated that Taki's voice and likeness would be replaced, and that the game's planned western release date had not changed. The character was ultimately given an original design not based on any actor.
- "Project Judge Is A Courtroom Thriller-Themed Action Game Set In Kamurocho". Siliconera. 2018-09-10. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
- "Project Judge Feels Like a Yakuza Spin-off All the Way Down to the Return of Kamurocho". US Gamer. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- "No Yakuza Characters Will Appear In Project Judge, Yakuza Head Confirms - TGS 2018".
- "New IP From the Yakuza Developers, Judge Eyes, Has a Demo Available Now on the Japanese PSN". US Gamer. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1566". Gematsu. 5 December 2018.
- "Media Create Sales: 12/10/18 – 12/16/18". Gematsu. 19 December 2018.
- "Media Create Sales: 1/7/19 – 1/13/19". Gematsu. 16 January 2019.
- "Japan Sega game sales halted after cocaine arrest". BBC News. March 13, 2019.
- Pineda, Rafael Antonio (March 13, 2019). "Denki Groove Band Member/Actor Pierre Taki Arrested for Cocaine Use (Updated)". Anime News Network.
- Ashcraft, Brian (March 13, 2019). "After Cocaine Arrest, Sega Halts Sales of New PS4 Game [Update]". Kotaku.
- Sega [@SEGA] (March 22, 2019). "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" (Tweet). Retrieved March 22, 2019 – via Twitter.