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?