Report: Balan Wonderworld game director Yuji Naka departs Square Enix

UPDATE: Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator and Balan Wonderworld game director Yuji Naka has seemingly left Square Enix.

Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator and Balan Wonderworld game director Yuji Naka has seemingly left Square Enix.

As spotted by VGC, updates to Naka's Facebook and LinkedIn pages indicate they left Square Enix in April 2021, around one month after Balan Wonderworld launched. 

Naka formed a new studio within Square Enix called Balan Company to work on Balan Wonderworld, but the platformer struggled to win over critics and players when it launched in March this year. 

Speaking to IGN in 2020, Naka suggested Square Enix had only greenlit Balan Wonderworld on the condition that it would be his "one chance" to make a platformer at the company. It's unclear how Naka's apparent departure will affect the future of Balan Company.

Update: Naka has confirmed his departure from Square Enix on Twitter. In a brief statement, the veteran programmer, designer, and producer said he couldn't talk about the reason for his exit and indicated he may step away from game development for good. 

"I retired from Square Enix at the end of April 2021," he said (via Google Translate). "I can't talk about the reason now, but I hope I can talk about it when the time comes. As for future activities, I'm 55 years old, so I may retire."

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