Thursday, April 28, 2022
Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka has revealed that he filed a lawsuit against Square Enix to have his name removed as director of 2021 platformer, Balan Wonderworld. Released last March to an almost universal critical panning, Balan Wonderworld offered a colourful adventure with some neat ideas, but was ultimately a dull and confused mess.
As per a lengthy Twitter thread published by Naka, it sounds like the game's development was somewhat troubled, and, as director, he had grander plans to deliver an action game in “proper form”. Naka recounts how roughly six months before the release of Balan Wonderworld, he brought a lawsuit against Square Enix to be removed as director, which has since been resolved.
Naka notes that staff working on the game did “their best”, although a tight schedule meant that their efforts were ultimately hampered. “However, it doesn't matter because the schedule is decided by the producer, not me, and the tight schedule is decided by the producer,” he lamented. “Something is wrong, isn't it?”
He went on to apologise for the state of the final product, although, it sounds like he wasn't routinely consulted or as involved in development as he should have been. Moreover, Naka would have liked more time to polish the game, and release it in a much better state. “I'm really sorry for the customers who bought the unfinished Balan Wonderworld,” he said.
“Personally, I'm really sorry that I released the unfinished work ‘Balan Wonderworld’ to the world,” he added. “I wanted to think about various things and put it out in a proper form as an action game. I think Square Enix and [developer] Arzest are companies that don't care about games and game fans.”
Yuji Naka is no longer with Square Enix, having left the company in June 2021. You can read our Balan Wonderworld review here.
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