Judgment has been an awesome spinoff series for Ryu Ga Gotoku studio. It not only contains the Yakuza’s series’ over-the-top combat, storytelling, and overall antics, but it also has some very cool investigative elements that put it apart and help it stand on its own. Lost Judgment stands to be the next big chapter in this spinoff series later this year, but it also could be its last if Sega can’t settle a dispute with the talent agency for the voice actor behind the game’s main character.
This report comes from Japanese entertainment news site Nikkan Taishu, as shared by Video Games Chronicle. According to Nikkan Taishu, Sega has long been in dispute with talent agency Johnny & Associates over the release of Judgment and Lost Judgment on PC. Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku want to pursue PC ports for both games (as they’ve done with the entire Yakuza series). Johnny & Associates handles the likeness rights of Takuya Kimura, Japanese voice of Takayuki Yagami, the main protagonist of the Judgment series, and it seems the agency has issues with Kimura appearing in PC games that it will not come to terms on with Sega.
Many will agree Kimura brings a suave demeanor to Yagami and has aided the character in becoming a strong face of the spinoff series. However, it would seem Sega isn’t about to continue to be held down in its efforts to expand the franchise if Johnny & Associates persists.
“The game makers have decided that if they can’t distribute the game on Steam, it would be very difficult from a business standpoint, and the series will end with the second game, Lost Judgment,” the report states.
That would be a shame to say the least, especially considering Ryu Ga Gotoku seems as though it was more than willing to continue on the unique turn-based RPG angle it took with Yakuza: Like a Dragon and continue the over-the-top action style of gameplay in the Judgment series. This new report seems as though it will force an unfortunate change of plan.
The reason behind Johnny & Associates not allowing the PC ports may have to do with easier access to online and a concern for use of Kimura’s likeness in such a setting, but beyond that, it’s a little foggy about why exactly they are keeping Judgment and Lost Judgment PC ports from happening. Regardless, if the agency can’t come to terms with Sega, Lost Judgment in September may very well be an abrupt end to the spinoff series.