A few weeks ago, when Judgment actor Pierre Taki got arrested for use of cocaine after a drug test, Sega reacted quickly by pulling the game from shelves and PSN. The use of drugs in Japan is looked upon very differently, so Sega had to replace the entire actor for both the Japanese release and the upcoming U.S. release. According to Sega’s chief creative officer Toshihiro Nagoshi, that pull might have ended up being quite the boon for the game, as it sold 97 percent of its initial shipment before it got pulled.
Nagoshi relayed this information on a Japanese livestream last night, jokingly asking “Why didn’t [these purchasers] just buy it from the start?!”
Of course Nagoshi was asked about his reaction to the Taki news, which the Yakuza director admitted he was shocked when he first heard. Nagoshi was reading the news on the internet while Sega employees kept calling his phone and he had to make the, uh, judgment call about what to do immediately. He put it to a vote within the team and they decided to pull the game.
While Judgment 2 hasn’t been confirmed, to the point where Nagoshi outright says they’re not working on a sequel right now, he confirmed that Taki’s character will not be in any future sequels in the series, even with the replacement actor. Don’t expect it anytime soon, though. Last week, a tweet from the Ryu Ga Gotoku account in Japan looking for a supporting actress confirmed that the next Yakuza game is already in development.
— 龍が如くスタジオ 公式 (@ryugagotoku) March 20, 2019
Judgment is still releasing in the west on June 21 on PlayStation 4.