A raging dispute might mean Lost Judgment is the last in the Yakuza spin-off series

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
Tokyo crime drama Lost Judgment, the sequel to Judgment and a Yakuza spin-off series, might be the last in the series because of a dispute between SEGA and lead-actor Takuya Kimura's talent agency, Johnny's & Associates.

The original interview was conducted by a Japanese outlet called Nikkan Taishu; however, Kotaku translated the piece for us linguistically stunted bunch. An insider was reported saying that Lost Judgment might be the last of the new series because of one reason: “those on the side of the game developer and those on the side of [Kimura’s talent agency] Johnny’s are said to have been unable to reach an agreement regarding the platforms to sell the game.” There has been no official statement from either party, so bear in mind that there might be a little bit of industry gamesmanship at play here. The PS4 and PS5 release in Autumn is currently unaffected by the news.

Kotaku has a great breakdown of the background context, but let us give you the TT editorialised low-down. The release of the game on PC appears to be the central issue for Johnny's. It is a tightly regulated talent management company, where the bands and musicians it primarily represents are not allowed to have social media accounts or have pictures taken of them outside of highly controlled press events. The agency has lost talent from Kimura's old band, Smap, as a result, and it might cost the singer his dream role of Detective Takayuki Yagami. Lead-actor Kimura is a bit of an exceptional case for Johnny's, in that he is so popular he was allowed to reveal he had a wife and kids which the agency normally keep secret. The fact he even got to provide his voice for the game is unusual. With this context in mind, releasing the game on PC — something SEGA believes is central to modern financial success for the franchise — might be a platform too far for Johnny's. The open-source potential apparently makes the agency believe that it will essentially be ceding the rights to Kimura's likeness. It's such a deep and multi-faceted saga that this seems like the best place to leave it until future developments.

What do you think of the news? We have seen the poll, we know you lot love a bit of Judgment news so let us know if you have done any rights-free detective work down below!
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and Sony news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like Horizon, The Last of Us, God of War, and Death Stranding 2 using experience from years of playing PlayStation games. He also covers PS Plus and trophy news, as well as his favorite games — The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed, and some indie gems — before an evening swim.
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