What you need to know
- Lost Judgment may be the last entry in the series, thanks to disagreements with the agency representing the star, Takuya Kimura.
- According to a report by Japanese news outlet Nikkan Taishu, Kimura's talent agency Johnny & Associates are against releases of PC versions, something Sega is interested in.
- Lost Judgment releases on Sept. 24 for Xbox Series X|S, Stadia, PS4, and PS5.
Fans of the Yakuza series woke up to some harrowing news this morning that could spell the end for the Judgment series, the Yakuza spinoff series starring Japanese actor Takuya Kimura.
According to a source to Japanese outlet Nikkan Taishu and sourced by Kotaku, Kimura's talent agency Johnny & Associates are against releases of PC versions of the Judgment series because they don't want Kimura to appear in PC games. The site suggests that because Johnny & Associates "has strict control over the likeness rights of its talent, and the use of their image online is still limited to a few."
The report also claims that Sega is very interested in bringing both Judgment and its upcoming sequel, Lost Judgment, to Steam, but because the agency is blocking this from happening, the series may end after Lost Judgment's release.
"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.
Every Yakuza title is available on Steam, as well as Xbox Game Pass on PC, and while there are other Japanese actors who lend their voice and likeness to characters throughout the series, none of them are playable. It seems that maybe Johnny & Associates are afraid that people may alter Takuya Kimura (or maybe they just hate PCs?)
Former member of boy band SMAP and actor Takuya Kimura has starred in many films and lent his voice to many projects like Howl's Moving Castle.
We've reached out to Sega for comment on the matter and will update if we hear back.
The Judgment series started in 2019 on the PS4 as a spin-off of the Yakuza games and has since been released on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Stadia, and PS5. In my review of the Xbox Series X version of Judgment, I said that "Judgment is a great spin-off of Yakuza, and is an excellent starting point for those interested in the series." The sequel, Lost Judgment, releases on Sept. 24 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Stadia, PS4, and PS5. You can preorder all editions now.
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