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Yuji Naka confirms Square Enix departure reports and says he ‘might retire’
Sonic co-creator says he’ll reveal reasons for his exit “when the time comes”
Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka has confirmed his departure from publisher Square Enix and said he might even retire from game development.
The veteran creator’s exit was widely reported this week after he updated both his public Facebook and LinkedIn pages to show his employment at the Final Fantasy publisher as having ended in April.
On Saturday, Naka confirmed the news: “Because of inquiries from the media and users, I can confirm I resigned from Square Enix at the end of April 2021,” he wrote on Twitter.
“I can’t tell you why right now, but I hope to be able to tell you when the time comes. As for my future activities, I’m already 55 years old, so I might retire.”
Naka’s exit follows the disappointing release of Balan Wonderworld, which he directed. Commercially, the title appears to have been just as disappointing.
Balan Wonderworld released in March to overwhelmingly negative reviews, with the game’s Metacritic score currently ranging from 36 to 51.
Naka had formed a new studio within Square, Balan Company, for the creation of Wonderworld, which was comprised of a collection of veteran developers including Naoto Ohshima, the artist who created the original designs for Sonic the Hedgehog.
It’s not clear what Naka’s potential departure means for Balan Company, but VGC has asked Square Enix for comment on this story.
Yuji Naka had previously claimed that Balan Wonderworld was his “one chance” to create a new platform game since leaving Sega in 2006.