Sega Producer Discusses Halting Judgment's Sales After Cocaine Arrest

After actor and musician Pierre Taki was arrested for alleged cocaine use, Sega decided to stop selling the game and remove him from PS4 game Judgment. In a recent livestream, Sega’s Toshihiro Nagoshi discussed the decision

Currently Sega’s Chief Creative Officer, Nagoshi is credited with launching the Yakuza series and now works as Executive Producer on the games and their spin-offs.

Nagoshi recalled the moment he saw the news on Yahoo! Japan that night, he immediately started getting calls and messages. Discussions got underway regarding what should be done. “But we quickly decided to declare we were refraining from selling the game.”

“But, to be honest, there’s no correct answer,” he continued, adding that while he did vote to pull the game, he can understand how people think the decision went too far or that the game itself is unrelated to the arrest.

According to Nagoshi, reactions on Twitter and in the news were eventually divided. “So, that’s why, there isn’t an answer (for this),” he said. Instead, there are simply guidelines.

“If I’m asked why I voted to pull the game, it had just come out and if this were a game that had been released in the past and time had passed, the way we’d look at it might be different. It’s another matter when something just launched a few months before and is still being sold.”

Last year, actor Hiroki Narimiya was replaced in Yakuza 4 due to his own cocaine allegations.

Nagoshi believes it’s not that these kind of incidents are more likely to happen by working with celebrities. “Staffers could cross dangerous, red lines, so this isn’t a moment when things can be pinned on celebrities,” he explained. So if something unpleasant or illicit happens, it’s a matter of making a distinction between right and wrong.

Nagoshi also said the news claiming Judgment 2 had been greenlit and that there was talk of Judgment 3 was untrue. However, he said that if there is a sequel, Pierre Taki would not be involved. Either the character would be changed, cut from the sequel or portrayed by another actor.


Comments

    "I was on the sauce" - Pierre Taki

    They literally wiped the guy's entire body of work out of existence - not just his game appearance, all of Denki Groove's music is gone from streaming and anything he ever touched, like his Japanese dub work for Frozen has either been removed from sale or his part is or has been excised.

    I'd say there is an "answer" for this, which is probably that they are overreacting just a bit.

      The punishment should fit the crime. This punishment doesn't.

      The mere fact they admit theres no right answer says the resulting mass deletion is way too far. The debate itself creates a mitigating circumstance. It also ignores that his work should stand on its own merits, and not be a reflection of his character.

      If his character is that bad, don't hire him, but also don't go back and rewrite history. Just don't hire him, and he will move on to something else, and people will forget about him.

      This isn't a crime that demands Nazi level suppression, its a misdemeanour. And while I get they want to distance from that because their games target kids as a big part of their market, they can do that by removing his name from the credits.

        It's very much what Japan does when it comes to people crossing the line socially (see also: any time an idol gets caught in a relationship with a man :\ ), but just because it's a cultural difference doesn't make it right.

        It also affects everyone else that didn't do anything wrong. Like the Denki Groove case, Taki was only one half of that duo but nearly three decades of their music is pulled from sale and streaming all the same.

          From a western perspective they draw weird lines in the sand though.
          Nobohiro Watsuki was fined the equivalent of $2500aud for Possession of Child Pornography and they only paused the serialisation of Rurouni Kenshin until the court case was settled.

            Might have something to do with the legal age of sex over tho. Its 14 or 15 I think, so if the CP was of kids in there early teens, it would not have had the same impact as it would in, say, the USA where the legal age is (I think) 17 or 18, but even then that depends on the provinces in Japan, as it does in the USA as states over there do have differing laws on it.

            Basically, it all comes down to cultural perception basically. Asia, in general, is far harder on drugs than anywhere else that I can think of.

              It’s 100% a cultural difference, however I don’t agree it’s a correlation to the legal age of consent.
              a celebrity caught with images of naked 17 year olds in America or Australia would be ostracised, despite the age of consent being as young as 16 in some states.

                If you do something in Japan, you're going to be judged in America. And vice versa. Cultural differences aren't the excuse they once were, because we now work in a more or less global environment.

                Having said that, its often a one way street. We accept the cultural differences of somewhere like Japan, but not America. We accept Japan has some strange standards, but wont accept that the US can have them as well. Their Second Amendment for example is a cultural thing, with their absolute and unbreakable belief in the US Constitution and its Amendments.

                We just see the gun laws, and generally don't understand that cultural aspect behind them defending it so passionately.

                  I half agree with the culture not being as big a deal. In some ways it is. In others, it's a far bigger deal than it ever has been with the rise of the silly idea that is 'cultural appropriation'. Culter spreading is a good thing. It goes along the way to different people accepting each other as equals. Yet the lefty street wants us to all be in our own little cultural boxes and never change. It's a very triable and racist way of looking at it. Culter changes and evolves. It does not get stolen. It can definitely be forced on people, but even then, that creates a new culter in itself.

                  The Japanese culter is a bit like that. It has forced and/or adopted cultural ideals from the USA mixed in with traditional Japanese culter, and that mix creates its own unique culter.

                  As for different cultural tolerances, I think that it's partly based on perception. We do not see Japan as part of the 'western' culture. We assume, and assume correctly, that they have a different central stood to us. However, in the case of the USA, there a 'western' nation, and being 'western' is a kind of cultural identity. Whereas we think of Japan as Asain in that cultural grouping. As such, we are not as surprised by things that happen in Japan because our minds already have them being as different. However, the USA is thought of as the same as Australia, and so its more surprising when things are not the same.

                  The aspect of the gun laws in the USA should be viewed like this. The constitution was built to do 1 thing. Keep the people of the nation free. The First Amendment, I think, was added in case the Government turned on its people, which could happen in any country in a growing number of ways.

                  Just to be clear as I may not have been clear enough. I've do not accept that the cultural differences of Japan when it comes to child pornography and pedophilia are an excuse.
                  I've only acknowledged that there is a cultural difference behind the different standards compared to drug related crime, and that it is at odds from a western perspective.

              I see this repeated a lot, but it's not true - federally it's 13, but the prefectures all set it much higher.

              And the US isn't a great measuring stick because they have a constant issue where two teenagers can completely legally have sex with each other in a lot of states, but if they film it or take photos they can - and often are - convicted of producing Child Pornography and end up on the sex offender's register.

              You can kind of understand Asia being hard on drugs when you consider the history. Especially the way that the West deliberately got China hooked on Opium.

            The reason he was only fined apparently is that he assisted police in taking down an entire ring he had contacts with. Also he was not actually charged and convicted with any crimes. Guarantee you if he had been actually convicted they'd have dropped him like a hot potato.

            Big legal difference there too - Japan doesn't criminalize possession that heavily, it instead goes after production more strongly.

            It's definitely a bit of a disturbing contrast though.

    In Japan, you're wiped from existence if you do drugs. In the West, you're wiped from existence if you make a racist or sexist Tweet... ever.

      Weird comparison to make when Disney just gave James Gunn his job back.

    It's fine making a game about crime, but God forbid anyone involved actually did anything similar. Strange world we live in.

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