Sega announced on Twitter that they will be removing Pierre Taki’s character Kyohei Hamura from the Western release of the game Judgment. This comes after Taki was arrested on cocaine charges.
Originally Sega pulled the physical and digital sales of Judge Eyes from being made available in Japan on the PS4 when the news broke. Many gamers worried that the Western release would be in jeopardy, but Sega said they were still working to release the game in the West on the PS4. The happy compromise is that the game is still going to be released this year on the PS4 in the West, however Pierre Taki’s character will not be in it. The tweet went live on March 22nd, 2019.
Screenshots and trailers featuring Hamura have been temporarily removed from all of SEGA’s official channels. Updated versions of these materials will be made available at a later date.
— SEGA (@SEGA) March 22, 2019
As pointed out in the Twitter thread, some gamers were left scratching their heads why the gaming industry was going so far out of its way to remove Taki from projects. As reported by SegmentNext, Square Enix has also replaced Taki in Kingdom Hearts 3.
What some people found so odd about it is that Pierre Taki is still appearing in movies and will be featured in the upcoming release of Iwane: Sword of Serenity, which is set to hit theaters in Japan on May 17th, 2019, according to IMDB.
Nevertheless, according to the localization lead on the Western version of Judgment, Scott Strichart, they’ve been working around the clock to get the replacement done as quickly and as efficiently as possible in time for the June 25th release date that Sega and the Ryu ga Gotoku Studios team had set in place.
None of this will be easy, but this last week has been like an Avengers trailer around here, because when it came to holding the date we promised, every department, from dev to QA, all but said “whatever it takes.” I am eternally grateful to them all. https://t.co/UHUVQqdQpi
— Scott Strichart (@TriggerRedd) March 22, 2019
It still doesn’t make a lot of sense why the gaming industry is tripping over itself to make the replacement while the movie industry seems to be largely ignoring the controversy, but today’s gaming culture is largely influenced by drama and outrage, so this change is par the course with what’s been happening in other sectors of the interactive entertainment space.
You can look for Judgment to launch on the PS4 on June 25th, 2019 this summer, assuming the loclaizers and Ryu ga Gotoku can get Pierre Taki’s Kyohei Hamura replaced in time.
(Thanks for the news tip Noel “PastaBreaker” Rodney Jr. and Lionhart16)