By Jason Collins | 13 seconds ago
It seems that it’s not just Activision Blizzard and Nintendo that are persecuting their employees; Japanese entertainment and video game conglomerate Square Enix has just entered the list of rogue gaming giants. Apparently, Last Fantasy publisher removes veteran developer, Yuji Naka, best known for his work on Sonic the Hedgehog Fantasy Star, and Night becomes a Dream, from the position of director in 2021 Wonderland Balan six months before the end of the match.
According to IGN, after his dismissal as director Balan Wonderland, Yuji Naka is suing Square Enix for their decision. However, the court case has now ended, and Naka is no longer bound by company rules and openly criticizes the company without disclosing the outcome of the case. First and foremost, Naka apologizes to the fans who bought Balan Wonderland, described it as an unfinished game. He then went on to criticize Square Enix, stating that “Square Enix is no good” and that the company doesn’t care about games or gamers.
Yuji Naka, a well-known game developer, stated that he had been removed as director Wonderland Balan by the game producer, head of marketing, head of sound, managing director, and human resources department for two reasons. The first problem arose during the development cycle when Naka commented on releasing a YouTuber piano arrangement from Wonderland‘s music instead of the original song, which states that the original game deserves to be promoted with the original song.
Granted, this doesn’t sound like something a well-known game director would fire, and it really isn’t. Creatives clash with bosses all the time; it is a battle between creative thinking and a centuries-old trend of money grabbing, and is usually resolved by compromise. However, the second reason why Yuji Naka was removed was much more serious. He took issue with the quality of work from Arzest, the development studio behind Wonderland Balan video games.
Yuji Naka comments on wanting to improve the game and Arzest delivers the game without fixing any bugs noted during development. Apparently, this didn’t sit well with Square Enix, who decided to remove him as director for a game released six months later — and it failed miserably as a bug-ridden, critical commercial flop. The flops happen left and right, and the gaming giants just ignore them and continue their “business as usual”, stating that the game is so ahead of its time that it’s incomprehensible to modern audiences.
Square Enix has never made such a claim, at least in terms of Balan Wonderland, but they released a patch for the game — on day one, however — that fixed a potential flashing bug that poses an epilepsy risk. Sounds like someone should listen to their former director. The game was released in March 2021 as a “half-baked” music platformer plagued by poor choices scattered across charming but incoherent ideas.
As stated in his work long tweeter threadYuji Naka apologized to the fandom, stating that it was a pity that it wasn’t finished yet Wonderland Balan has been sent to the world. He ended his criticism by stating that neither Square Enix nor Arzest were companies that cared about games and fans.