Sonic creator Yuji Naka says he was removed as director of Balan Wonderworld before disastrous launch

Yuji Naka, best known as the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, says he was removed as director of Balan Wonderworld six months before its launch by Square Enix.

The revelation comes from a Twitter thread posted by Yuji where states he filed a lawsuit against Square Enix following his dismissal, which has now been settled.

Last year, Yuji left Square Enix following the disastrous launch of Balan Wonderworld, which sold less than 2100 copies in its opening week in Japan.

At the time, Yuji said he could not explain the reason behind his departure, which we know now was due to the ongoing lawsuit.

The most damning accusation made in the thread is that Square Enix and Arzest (the game’s co-developer) both knew the game was unfinished before deciding to launch anyway.

From a rough translation from Japanese, Yuji said “Square Enix is no good if they don’t care about games and game fans.”

“The other thing is that the court documents say that Oshima talked to producer Fujimoto about what I said about Arzest submitting the game without fixing it even though there were glitches during development, and that my relationship with Arzest was breaking down because of my comments to improve the game.”

Yuji continues: “I believe that a game is made by striving how to make it a good game until the end and hoping that game fans will enjoy it when they buy it. I think it is strange to remove the director who comments on the game without consultation and not allow him to be involved at all because he does not have enough time.”

He ends by saying: “In my opinion, it is a real shame that we released the unfinished work Balan Wonderworld to the world. I wanted to release it to the world as an action game in a proper form considering various things. I think Square Enix and Arzest are companies that do not care about games and game fans.”

Eurogamer has contacted Square Enix for comment.

Martin Robinson wrote Eurogamer’s Balan Wonderworld review, calling it “surreal, enigmatic and often sloppily executed”.

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