Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic the HedgehogShe shared that Square Enix removed him as director of Balan wonder world six months before the start of the game.
Naka shared the news on his own Twitter account, where he also detailed that he has filed a lawsuit against Square Enix and that he can share all of this now that the lawsuit is closed (translations from Cheese Master3K). The renowned developer noted that he believes “that it is wrong for Square Enix not to appreciate games and game fans”.
Continuing the thread, Naka wrote that it was removed for two reasons, according to court documents. “First, when a YouTuber-arranged piano performance of the game music was released in a promotion in place of the original game track, making the composer a ghost writer, I insisted that the original track be released, and that caused trouble,” Naka wrote.
Following this, Naka explained that the second reason was due to his comments “that if Arzest submits the game without fixing bugs, he wanted to improve the game”.
Naka also noted that the decision to remove him was made by the producer, marketing manager, scale, general manager and human resources. Also, he was apparently not allowed to retweet or like posts related to Balan Wonderworld and apologized for not being able to.
“Personally, I feel really sorry for the customers who bought Balan Wonderworld in an unfinished state,” continued Naka. “From that point forward, I can respond to posts that tag me or are just directed at me on SNS and the like.”
“I was removed as director of Balan Wonderworld about half a year before release, so I filed a lawsuit against Square Enix. Now that the process is complete and I am no longer bound by company rules, I would like to speak up.” #BalanWonderful World https://t.co/Ht0Zc9soBa
— Käsemeister 😷💉💉💉 (@Cheesemeister3k) April 28, 2022
Closing the thread, Naka commented that he believes Balan Wonderworld’s reception, which was generally pretty poor, had a lot to do with the events he was describing. “I’m really disappointed that a product I’ve been working on from the beginning has turned out so outlandish.”
“I personally regret that Balan Wonderworld came into the world in an unfinished state. I wanted to consider all sorts of things and release it as a proper action game. I don’t think Square Enix and Arzest value games and their fans. “
However, Naka did not report the outcome of the lawsuit, only that he was allowed to speak out about the situation after it was resolved.
While the reporting of how employees in game development studios are treated in the West has increased in recent years, the same cannot be said of Japanese development studios, probably due in large part to the language barrier. This is a rare, first-hand look at work for a major Japanese studio, and it doesn’t paint a particularly good picture, although it’s not that surprising.
https://www.vg247.com/square-enix-yuji-naka-removed-as-director-balan-wonderworld Yuji Naka sued Square Enix for releasing Balan Wonderworld