Yuji Naka has revealed that he recently filed a lawsuit against Square Enix over critically panned platformer Balan Wonderworld.
The Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator heavily criticised the publisher in a Twitter thread posted today. As translated by Video Games Chronicle, Naka didn’t hold back with his comments against the publisher and co-developer Arzest. “I believe that if they don’t care about games nor their fans, Square Enix is a bad company.”
The lawsuit itself – which has apparently just concluded – came about after he felt the publisher had removed him from the game unfairly. Naka claims “according to official documents” that he fell out with Arzest “due to my comments about Arzest submitting the final build without fixing bugs even though there were problems during development, and I was pushing for further polish.”
Another disagreement apparently arose around the game’s music. According to Naka, the publisher asked a YouTuber to perform music from the game as part of promotion. Naka meanwhile would have rather used the original score itself. These factors combined saw Naka removed from his position as director six months before the game was due to launch.
“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. I asked my lawyer to negotiate with our business partners to at least allow me to address issues on Balan Wonderworld’s development until the very end, but they ignored my requests, so I ultimately decided to file a lawsuit in court.”
“It is because of this that Balan Wonderworld received all the criticisms and comments you all know well,” he concluded. “It is quite unfortunate that a project I had spearheaded from the beginning would turn out this way. 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.”
It came to light that Naka had departed Square Enix in June of last year. Balan Wonderworld released last March, and you can read what we made of it right over here.
— Yuji Naka / 中 裕司 (@nakayuji) April 28, 2022