An industry insider says that the Judgment PC release and Lost Judgment PC release — along with plans for a third Judgment game — have been canceled due to a dispute with Takuya Kimura's talent agency "Johnny's."
Judgment is a spinoff of the Yakuza games that mixes things up by putting you on the side of the police rather than the yakuza. Players take on the role of Takayuki Yagami, a private detective that is voiced by (and shares the likeness of) popular Japanese actor Takuya Kimura (2046, Space Battleship Yamato).
The game got a fair amount of traction and a sequel Lost Judgment is arriving later this year. A PC release for either game has not yet been announced, and now it looks like the PC versions might not come out at all due to a dispute with Kimura's talent agency Johnny's. Worst of all, a planned third game in the franchise may be canceled as well.
Why the Judgment PC Release and Third Game May Be Canceled
The Judgment PC release and Lost Judgment PC release have been canceled according to an industry insider speaking to Nikkan Taishu (via Kotaku), along with plans for a third game in the series. The reason for the cancellation, however, is a little stranger than you might think.
The Johnny's talent agency is a little bit behind the times; it has an incredibly strict policy with social media and publication of its clientele on PC. As Kotaku highlights, the company didn't even open an official YouTube channel until 2018 and it bans most of its talent from using social media at all. Another odd example is a ban on publishing any photos of its talent taken at press conferences from being published online, although it's apparently okay for use in print media.
According to Nikkan Taishu's source, there were plans to make a third game in the Judgment franchise as well as PC ports. That source reports, however, that Johnny's was wholly against a PC version of any of the games being published. The losses from being unable to publish the game on PC are apparently so severe that Sega has decided to cut its losses and cancel the third game altogether.
We can't say for certain what will happen to the Judgment franchise going forward outside of what's been said by Nikkan Taishu's source. For now, you can look forward to playing Lost Judgment when it arrives on PlayStation and Xbox on September 24, 2021; you can learn more about the franchise (and buy the first game) via its official website.
What do you think of the dispute over the Judgment PC release? Do you like the Judgment games better than the core Yakuza franchise? Let us know in the comments below!