Yuji Naka sued Square Enix over removal from director role of Balan Wonderworld
Development troubles and an unfinished game.
Yuji Naka, known for his work on Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star Online, Sonic Adventure and more recently, Balan Wonderworld, sued Square Enix over his termination from the director role during Balan Wonderworld’s development. The court case recently ended, allowing Yuji Naka to post his scathing thoughts on Twitter.
Six months before Balan Wonderworld’s launch, Yuji Naka was terminated as director after raising concerns about the unfinished state of the game, he claims. He also states that “Square Enix and Arzest do not care for video games or their fans,” pointing at several factors leading up to his termination. In his thread, Yuji states that he objected to having a YouTuber publish sheet music of the game’s soundtrack, insisting that “it’s strange to publish an original game with arranged music by having a ghostwriter write the score!”
Yuji also states that his relationship deteriorated with Arzest over comments made about improving the game’s many technical and gameplay woes. Many issues that arose during development were not fixed before being submitted, and conversations about the game’s state occurred without Yuji’s involvement, despite being the director. Continuing on, he states that he was not allowed to engage with fans on social media due to it being “prohibited.” “There were many very nice comments and illustrations of Balan Wonderworld, and I am very sorry that I could not respond,” Yuji says.
Finishing off the thread, Yuji muses about development issues: “I believe it’s wrong to prevent game creators from improving their games until the very last minute. This case has a lot to do with the fact that Balan Wonderworld had the results and reputation that you all know well. It is really unfortunate that a work I created, from the beginning, has had such a result.”
While it is not clear who won the court case between Square Enix and Yuji Naka, or if they settled, it is unfortunate that Balan Wonderworld ended up the way it did. We have reached out to Yuji Naka for clarification and will update this article with any relevant information.