Lost Judgment may not release for another couple of months, but there's already speculation surrounding the future of SEGA's series. This all stems from Japanese showbiz site Nikkan Taishu, which reports that lead actor Takuya Kimura's talent agency is becoming something of an obstacle.
Kimura plays protagonist Takayuki Yagami in the Judgment games — a private detective who shares the actor's face as well as his voice. Kimura has been an immensely popular figure in Japan for decades, starring in all kinds of TV shows and movies. As such, it's no real surprise to hear that his talent agency is particularly protective.
So what's the actual problem here? Well, apparently, the agency doesn't want Kimura appearing in PC games. It's all a bit vague, but it's suggested that because PCs have access to the internet, Kimura's image is more at risk. It's possible that the customisable nature of PC gaming is the real issue. For example, if the Judgment games were released on PC, then modders could take character models and repurpose them. In short, it's all a bit mad.
And this, of course, means that SEGA has a problem, since the publisher has become increasingly invested in porting its titles to PC (with much success, it should be added). Judgment has yet to be released on PC, and Lost Judgment is only coming to consoles.
Is there a Judgement series without Kimura? Hard to say. He's clearly the face of the franchise, but we suppose that it at least partly depends on how well Lost Judgment sells. We're sure that, if pushed, SEGA could do things differently, but perhaps the two parties will come to some sort of agreement before more drastic measures are considered.
Nothing like a bit of showbiz drama, eh?
[source taishu.jp, via videogameschronicle.com]
It was mental that they got Kimutaku in the first place but yeah, the talent agencies over there are insane. The entire industry is kinda horrible to be honest. Perfect Blue is a great movie to get an understanding of the mania that surrounds idols and the way the agencies manufacture their life, female in that case but the same stuff happens with male idols.
Ok well if PC ports are the issue then......just don't release it on PC problem solved
If they wanted they could imprison the character off screen for all the GBH he does (and possible murders through the multiple broken everythings he dishes out) and roll with other characters as the main, stick the third entry on PC and then shove post-it notes through the talent agencies letter box with sales and revenue figures that they can no longer partake in.
Truly a shame if they can't work something out.
Kinda sucks if there is no PC version. And I still haven’t played this game. 😑
@Keyblade-Dan The entire rest of the series is on PC though. It’s a bit horrible for PC only players.
Just don’t try to release a pc version sega problem fix.
@Keyblade-Dan or how about don't make idiotic contracts with talent agencies that are stuck in the 90s
So glad consoles don't have access to the internet yet...
Didn't they have trouble with a voice actor from judgement last time round? A vague memory of reading one was caught doing drugs or something
He might be well know in Japan but only about 20% of it's sales were in Japan(a PC port would reduce it even more)
They can really just recast him
@Bleachedsmiles Yes and they completely recast him after the game had been released
Would be a problem for Yakuza team given they have committed the mainline series to turn based combat, and confirmed the judgment series will retain the action style of old.
It doesn't have to be a major issue, i suppose. They may just need a new lead character
Write him off the game - that is what they do in TV shows when actors (or their agents) think they run the show.
I would say bring in another protagonist, but I really liked Yagami. A protagonist switch THIS early in the series would be strange.
It's hilarious that no one would have messed with the model (or at least if they did it wouldn't be a big deal) had the talent agency not said anything. Now though if it goes to PC this guy's deeefinitely going to be in all sorts of places doing all sorts of things, and everyone's going to report on it.
Can't make a profit from console sales?
Kimura's work in the first game was just astounding. As much as I love the Yakuza series, his presence really helped give Judgement a more natural, grounded feel, even when extremely weird things were going on. The Yakuza games are like Seijin Suzuki films while Judgement seems more like Masahiro Shinoda's Pale Flower.
Also, like @nessisonett mentioned, Japan is a bit more drastic in how it protects intellectual property, in this case that property being Kimura's likeness. This isn't a decision by the actor, but by his agency, and if I've learned anything from Idolmaster, it's that agencies wield outsized power in Japan.
Goodness I hope they work something out. I like Ichiban a lot in Like A Dragon, but Yagami is my favorite RGG character at this point now that Kiryu is retired. If it doesn't work out I have faith RGG would figure out some way forward that works but hopefully they won't have to.
@Agramonte yeah but his story is so unique…
PC gaming is ruining everything again 🤪🤪🤪
@nessisonett What entire rest of the series? This is Judgement, not Yakuza. The first game isn't even on PC...
What type of weird stuff is happening over there?? Norman Reedus the star of death stranding, I doubt that he had a say in the game coming to PC. What makes an ACTOR decide which platforms the game releases in??????
@Floki Oh come on, it’s set in Kamurocho and involves characters from the Yakuza series. Don’t be pedantic.
@nessisonett Judgment 1 isn't on PC and I'd rather that than the series not exist or lose it's amazing protagonist
@nessisonett Top marks for recommending Perfect Blue, for me the best Hitchcock thriller he never made.
To be honest, I’d love it if they dropped the character. He really is dull as dishwater and I dislike the “detective” elements of the gameplay, and the forced stealth. Go back to an action based Yakuza storyline please. With a likeable character.
That would suck if true. I am still not sure if I would buy Yakuza 8 at present as I still can't be bothered to wade through 7 as I find the turn-based combat stale after a short while. To hear there wouldn't even be a spin off game with original Yakuza combat means I would pretty much be done with Yakuza series.
@nessisonett They are still completely separate games tho. You don't have to play Yakuza to know what is happening in Judgement , and you don't have to play Judgement to know what is happening Yakuza. This is only affecting Judgement, and the first game isn't on PC... So anyone PC player who wanted to play the second one haven't even played the first one.
If they make an 8th Yakuza that will still be releasing on PC so...
i really hope we at least get a trilogy and then another beat em up series, i've really enjoyed playing the ps5 version so far
@Floki You don’t have to play FF6 to know what’s going in FF7…
Kill him off and let the lass from the law firm solve his murder.
@nessisonett There are male idols in Japan as well, though their popularity is nowhere near the level of the female idols.
People can still rip models from console exclusive games and do what they want with them on a PC, so this clause is kinda senseless. I understand they may just be referring to mods but that's not the only way someone can manipulate the game's models.
@TowaHerschel7 I mean, yeah. That’s why I made the point of saying that the same stuff happens with male idols. Kimutaku is pretty much the archetypical male idol.
I wonder how difficult it would be for Sega to change the characters face on PC, a lá Spider-Man.
Pity. SEGA is doing so good with PC ports of their games. It'll be a shame if these games have to be console only.
@nessisonett Perfect Blue is a masterpiece and a pretty scary look at what probably a lot of female entertainers in Japan have to put up with. The online harassment, the crazy fans, the exploitative manager that funnels her down a pipeline that leads to adult photography and traumatic B-movie roles, etc. And, man, it's telling about how good the scene compositions are when Darren Aronofsky purchased the American remake rights to the movie just so he could copy that iconic bathtub bit in Requiem for a Dream.
Unfortunately, the novel it's based off of is pure schlock.
Tak was cool but he's got nothing on my boy Ichiban.
@PossibLeigh not that difficult
@nessisonett Kudos just for mentioning "Perfect Blue" (and with fitting context), because that movie rules. Man, now I get very nostalgic...
@ChrisDeku haha, nice one! Shouldn't be a problem then. Oh, and the irony of a music producer sacking an artist from doing coke...🤣
Wow, has his agency never heard of deep fakes!? Anybody with a little bit of know-how could just take some screenshots from his shows/movies/music videos and slap his face onto anything. The results would look even more real than his video game figure.
Does anybody really think this actor increases the sales of the video games. Just kill him off and be done with it.
But now we finally know why the first game was never ported to PC when every other video game does since steam became big.
Absolutely mental reasoning if true, but totally par for the course when it comes to talent agencies over there.
Not to mention that Judgment was just added to PS Now, a service which can be streamed on... you guessed it... PC.
Then just skip the pc version. If it comes down to it make a new protag cuz I really don't wanna see some new face for Yagami. I really like this dude.
Hopefully they are able to reach an agreeable compromise, PC gamers are still gamers too.
@AdamNovice I read your comment totally wrong thought you said best Hitchcock film he ever made, and thought I have never seen that one, googled it and nothing 🙈 had to re read it. Might give this a watch still. Thought for a bit I had missed a Hitchcock film ah well.
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