Sadly, the last we heard from upcoming crime brawler Lost Judgment was when a bizarre stance from the main star’s management was threatening the entire future of the series. So some new DLC announced for the game today sure has interesting timing.
According to Nikkan Taishu, [Takuya] Kimura’s talent agency will not okay the release of the game on PC, which might seem odd because the previous game was released on Stadia (but, to be honest, it’s unclear if the agency fully understood the platform). The issue appears to be a proper PC release and how that would impact the talent agency’s management of Kimura’s likeness and a general dislike of a PC-based platform.
The point of contention, as explained on Nikkan Taishu, is that Sega apparently sees the PC as vital from a business point of view. For Johnny’s, which still hasn’t quite fully embraced the internet like others in the music business, releasing a game directly online through a PC platform could be problematic for their business model. Because of this apparent disagreement, Nikkan Taishu reports that Lost Judgment is said to be the last in the series.
Judgment was excellent, and Lost Judgment is looking promising as well, so having the entire series killed off because star Takuya Kimura’s (who plays main character Takayuki Yagami) management don’t understand how computers work would be a tragedy.
Which is why this latest DLC is worth thinking harder about. Announced earlier today, it provides “additional story” content where you get to play a few extra cases as Masaharu Kaito, Yagami’s assistant, a big and wonderful boy who I loved so much that I put him at the very top of my Judgment review a few years back.
Now, Yakuza games are no stranger to having you play as multiple characters, but that’s always been a pillar of the base game’s design, and the first Judgment never offered it, having you play solely as Yagami. So having Sega announce this now, so soon after the reports of the series’ future did the rounds, doesn’t feel like a coincidence to me.
If Kimura’s agents can’t be convinced to relax, then what better way to keep the series alive than test the waters and see if people want to keep playing as his sidekick Kaito instead? Especially since Kaito, who is pretty damn popular with Yakuza fans, doesn’t have an actual actor’s likeness to worry about for legal reasons.
It’s not a perfect solution—from his outfit to his haircut to his fists-first demeanour it could be argued that he’s maybe too similar to former Yakuza stalwart Kazuma Kiryu—but like I said, I like the kid a lot, and maybe turning the series into his own voyage of personal growth isn’t the worst thing that could happen (it’s certainly preferable to no more Judgment games!).
Maybe as a huge fan of these games I’m over-thinking this, but I thought given the nature of the DLC and its timing it was worth pointing out anyway!
The Kaito DLC will be available either as a standalone purchase or as part of the game’s collector’s edition.