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Yuji Naka claims he was removed as director of Balan Wonderworld before it crash landed

"I believe that it is a true disgrace that Balan Wonderworld was released in the state that it was in."

Chris Kerr

April 28, 2022

2 Min Read

Balan Wonderworld director Yuji Naka claims he was removed from the project six months before the critically panned action platformer launched.

In a series of tweets (translated by the folks over at VGC), the Sonic the Hedgehog creator said it was a "disgrace" that Balan Wonderworld was allowed to release in the state it was in, adding that he fought to stay involved until the very end.

Naka chose to sue co-developer Arzest and developer-publisher Square Enix following his removal, and said his relationship with the studios broke down because after Arzest decided to submit a final build of the game without addressing numerous known bugs.

Following his dismissal, Naka said he instructed his lawyer to "negotiate with our business partners to at least allow me to address issues on Balan Wonderworld's development." That request was seemingly ignored, prompting Naka to file a lawsuit.

"It is quite unfortunate that a project I had spearheaded from the beginning would turn out this way," he continued, now able to discuss the situation following the conclusion of the trial.

"Personally, I believe that it is a true disgrace that Balan Wonderworld was released in the state that it was in. I wanted to show the world an action game in its proper light. Therefore, I believe that Square Enix and Arzest are companies that care about neither games nor their fans.

"Game creators are supposed to improve their games until the very end, and I believe that it is wrong to prevent them from carrying out this goal."

Naka said he was banned from sharing and liking posts on social media following his dismissal, and apologised to fans for being unable to respond to their messages of support.

In a closing remark, Naka suggested that both Arzest and Square Enix are companies that "care about neither games nor their fans," and questioned whether Square Enix ever cared about supporting the project.

You can read a translated version of Naka's complete statement over on VGC.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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