Lost Judgment may be the final game in the series, as an actor’s talent agency are preventing the game from being sold on Steam.
Japanese entertainment news website Nikkan Taishu (Translation: DeepL) report that according to their sources; the talent agency Johnny & Associates had disagreements over what platform to release the game on. Johnny is the agency Takuya Kimura is represented by, the voice and likeness of main character Takayuki Yagami.
Nikkan Taishi claim that despite the success of Steam, Johnny was not willing to support the PC platform. The outlet questions that as agencies are protective over the rights of their celebrities, Steam being connected to the internet could be seen as an issue.
Being unable to produce the game on Steam, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio will reportedly have a difficulties, and will end the series there. The studio had previously managed to bring the entire Yakuza series to PC (if you include the Kiwami remakes over the originals).
While Sega had began “evaluating” simultaneous PC launches for the series (with Yakuza: Like a Dragon launching PC and Xbox versions a little after PlayStation); the original Judgment had no PC release.
Despite his love of the series, Kimura reportedly stated he was very disappointed that the series might not continue. It should be noted that, if true, Kimura may be under some form of contract that would prevent him giving permission to allow his likeness to appear on Steam versions of the game.
Even Kimura opening an Instagram page is considered rare for Johnny’s talent. Nikkan Taishi proposes that he was not allowed to make a similar special exception for Steam.
This is not the first time an actor’s likeness has caused issues for the series. Sega temporarily halted shipments and digital sales for Judgment in Japan following Pierre Taki’s arrest for suspected cocaine use. His character, Kyohei Hamura, was recast as Miou Tanaka [1, 2].
As previously reported, Lost Judgment begins with the sentencing of Akhiro Ihara taking a shocking turn, as he admits to killing Hiro Mikushiba- who drove his son to suicide. Yet, evidence suggests it is impossible for him to have committed the crime.
As Ihara condemns the law as being broken, a high school is involved in a deadly investigation where stakes grow ever higher. As Takayuki Yagami investigates the case and goes under cover as a teacher; even he begins to question what justice means.
Lost Judgment launches worldwide September 24th on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
Image: Lost Judgment official website