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Sonic Co-Creator Yuji Naka Leaves Square Enix Following Balan Wonderworld Flop, Considering Retirement

Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Yuji Naka has announced his departure from Square Enix following disappointing commercial and critical performance of Balan Wonderworld.

Prior to his stint at Square Enix, Naka spent over two decades at SEGA, where he served as the head of Sonic Team and worked on the original Sonic games. At Square Enix, he created Balan Company for what he said was his “one chance” to make a successful, full-scale platform game.

“A lot of popular games these days are based on shooting, but I always want to make pure action games,” he told IGN last September. Unfortunately, Balan Wonderworld got panned by users and critics alike, but Naka hasn’t outright said if that was the reason for his departure. However, he did confirm that he’s considering retirement.

Following reports of his resignation, Naka took to Twitter to confirm the news with the following statement (translation courtesy of Gematsu):

I resigned from Square Enix at the end of April. While I cannot share the reason right now, I hope to be able to discuss it when the time comes. As for what I’ll do in the future, I’m already 55 years-old, so I may as well retire.

In her review, PlayStation LifeStyle’s Rebecca Smith praised Balan Wonderworld‘s unique and fun bosses, but criticized its lackluster story, bizarre design, and poor execution of ideas. The game failed to crack sales charts and suffered from abysmal sales.

We’ll update our readers when/if Naka explains the reason for his resignation from Square Enix.

[Source: Gematsu]