May 22, 2022

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Yuji Naka has been removed from the position of director of Balan Wonderworld, and a lawsuit has been filed against Square Enix

Yuji Naka has been removed from the position of director of Balan Wonderworld, and a lawsuit has been filed against Square Enix

Photo: Square Enix

Update: We now have a more accurate translation of Yuji Naka’s tweets, courtesy of Twitter user Cheesemeister.

The tone of the message is pretty much the same as the machine-translated one, but it’s very clear here that Yuji Naka thinks the poor reception of Balan Wonderworld was a result of what’s going on behind the scenes.

We’ve included the beginning of the translated topic, and we’ve also included the full translation of Naka’s tweets below.

You were removed from the manager position of Balan Wonderworld about half a year before his release, so you sued Square Enix. Now that the proceedings are over and I’m no longer bound by the company’s rules, I’d like to speak frankly.

I think it’s a mistake for Square Enix not to appreciate games and game lovers. According to court documents, I was fired as Balan Wonderworld Director for two reasons. This was done by the Product, Head of Marketing, Head of Audio, General Manager, and Human Resources.

First, when the piano-arranged performance of the game’s music was released on YouTube in a promotion instead of the game’s original track, turning the composer into a ghost writer, I insisted that the original track be released which caused a problem.

Second, according to court documents, [Naoto] Tell Oshima the product [Noriyoshi] Fujimoto states that the relationship with Arzest has been destroyed due to the comments I made and the desire to improve the game in the face of Arzest rendering the game without fixing the bugs.

Also, in an email from Ohshima to Fujimoto, he wrote, “I just told the staff about delaying the demo. When I told them, this was an urging. Fujimoto’s decision. Let’s do our best for it, the staff applauded and cheered. This was unexpected, Was impressed…

The staff has been disrupted recently, but their morale has been revived. Thanks a lot. Each and every one of us on the team will work hard. So the schedule wasn’t up to me, but the product, however tight the schedule was what the product did. Something was off.

We were releasing an original game, but laying out a tidy track was definitely a mistake. I think the game music that anyone can listen to is the original tracks.

I think every effort should be made to make the games as best as possible to the end so that the fans of the game enjoy what they buy. It would not have been right, without discussion, to remove one of the directors and completely fire him from the project saying so.

Retweeting, liking, etc. on SNS has been blocked, so I don’t think Square Enix appreciates fans of the game. There have been many great comments and illustrations about Balan Wonderworld, and I’m really sorry I couldn’t respond to them.

Myself, I am really sorry for the customers who bought Balan Wonderworld in unfinished condition. From this point on, I will be able to respond to posts that refer to me or are only directed at me on social media and the like.

I think when making games asking for fixes in order to make something good should be taken for granted and if that’s not possible then it should be talked about, but it seems they can’t. I don’t think they appreciate games.

For Sonic the Hedgehog, two weeks before it finished, the specs were changed so that if you only had one episode, you wouldn’t die. This now known rule was the result of improving the game to the end, and people all over the world enjoyed it as a result.

Optimizing the game to the end is what the game maker is all about, and if that’s not possible, something is wrong. I asked my attorney to negotiate with me so that I could be suspended until the end of production, but their refusal prompted me to file a lawsuit.

I think the resulting Balan Wonderworld and the critical reception it received has a lot to do with what happened. I’m really disappointed that the product I’ve been working on from the start turned out that way.

Thank you Cheesemeister for this translation.

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Yuji Naka draws comparisons between his firing and the time he worked on Sonic the Hedgehog, working until the last minute to implement a now-essential mechanic for the series. He seemed to think that if he had been allowed to stay on the plane, he could have paid the same attention and care to the Balan Wonderworld.

Last summer, Naka announced that He left Square Enix at the end of April 2021 And they had plans to retire, even though the famous game developer did. Entering the mobile game market. His departure from Square Enix would likely be different from his dismissal as Balan Wonderworld’s director.


Original article: Balan Wonderworld It was a huge disappointment to many. Fans of Yuji Naka (Failed Platform Manager) and his work on various My voice addresses nights in dreamsAnd Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg He took one look at the publishing platform that Square Enix published when it was announced and was enchanted by the music and visuals. It was evoking a platformer game from the Dreamcast era, and we longed for it.

Unfortunately, things did not go as planned, and it was dubbed Balan Wonderworld Worst Switch game of 2021But it looks like a lot was going on behind the scenes. Today, Yuji Naka revealed on Twitter that he had already been removed from the role of game director six months before its launch. Many still attribute a lot of Balan Wonderworld to Naka, so this is pretty shocking, but the original sonic the hedgehog The programmer did not leave it at that.

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Naka has filed a lawsuit against Square Enix, which is now over, but in a series of tweets on Twitter, he makes clear how upset he is with the many decisions made by both Square Enix and co-developer Arzest. Naka knew the game wasn’t over and needed more work, and he wanted to help with that, but Square Enix’s removal of him meant he couldn’t.

For now, we only have a machine translation via Nibel and DeepL of what Yuji Naka has to say, but nonetheless, his clearly scathing thoughts on the matter:

Naka deeply apologizes to fans who picked up on the game throughout his thread while referring specifically to Square Enix:

I think Square Enix does not take good care of the fans of the game as retweets, likes, etc. are also banned on social media. There have been so many great comments and illustrations of Balan Wonderworld, and I’m so sorry I couldn’t do anything about it.

It seemed like Yuji Naka was looking to give the fans what they wanted, and since he was removed from the manager position, he couldn’t do anything about it. His closing statement sums up this feeling perfectly:

For me, it is really a shame that you release your unfinished work “Balan Wonderworld” to the world. I wanted to release it to the world as an action game in a proper format with different things in mind. I think Square Enix and Arzest are two companies that don’t care about games and game lovers.

Neither Square Enix nor Arzest has responded to these allegations at the time of writing, but due to Balan Wonderworld’s poor reception – including 3 out of 10 comments – Naka’s frustration is easy to understand. It would seem like a good time to re-read our defense retroactively in light of this context:

If we find out anything else about the situation, we will let you know.