Sonic the Hedgehog creators file lawsuit against Square Enix over disappointing Wonderworld Balan

“I want to really apologize to the people who bought Balan Wonderwold.”

The Magic World of Balan is one of the biggest head-scratches in video games in 2021, and not because of Balan’s titular odd outfit choice of a tophat/eyemask hybrid or a level-ending dance number with gibberish vocals. No, the real mystery is how a game is directed by Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic the Hedgehogcould have bland and uninteresting gameplay.

After release, The Magic World of Balan was quickly denounced by critics and consumers alike for its simple one-button gameplay and bloated list of power-up transformations that added nothing in terms of functionality or fun, such as the immediately famous Fox Box, which, citing the in-game description, ” change between a fox and a box when it feels like it.”

While Naka may not have a perfect track record, his creative missteps tend to be overly ambitious and experimental, pretty much the opposite of the spectrum of the kind of game that looks-and-sounds-good-by-the-boring. that kind of game The Magic World of Balan Becomes. However, it turns out Naka hasn’t actually served as director for the last six months of Balan Wonderworld’s development, and he’s filed a lawsuit against the game’s publisher, Square Enix, as revealed in a series of tweets in which Naka also lashed out at Balan Wonderworld developer, Arzest..

Naka, taking a selfie outside a courthouse in Japan

Naka continued his lengthy condemnation of both companies, with multiple apologies to gamers.

Approximately half a year prior to the release of Balan Wonderworld, I had been removed as director of Balan Wonderworld through an administrative order, and so I filed a lawsuit in court against Square Enix. The trial has ended and the administrative order is no longer valid, so I would like to discuss the situation.

I don’t think it’s good that Square Enix doesn’t respect games and game fans. According to court documents, I was dismissed as director for two reasons. The deletions were carried out by the game producer, the head of promotion, the sound producer, the executive in charge of the project, and the human resources department.

The first thing is that a YouTuber will play the music of the game on the piano and release the score. I thought it was odd to use a regulated version, and one from a ghost writer, at the time, when we released the original game. I made it clear that I wanted to use the original score, and this created problems.

Another thing, according to court documents, are things I said in response to Arzest sending a building under development without fixing the defects that occurred in it. In the documents it was written that the comments I made to Arzest broke the relationship, and that [Balan Wonderworld] producer [Noriyoshi] Fujimoto talking to [Balan Wonderworld artist Naoto] Oshima about it.

Another point is that in an email from Oshima to Fujimoto, he said, “I gathered the staff and informed them that we will be pushing the release date of the trial version of the game. I told them, ‘This is Producer Fujimoto’s decision. Let’s do our best for him,’ and the staff clapped and cheered. It was surprisingly moving. Recently the staff were feeling down, but this gave them a boost. Thank you very much. The entire staff will do their best.”

That’s the content of the email, but it doesn’t matter since the schedule is set by the producer. The schedule was tight because the producers decided it. Isn’t there something strange?”

I really can’t think it’s good to send the music score set for the original game out into the world. I think everyone knows that there is game music that people hum to themselves, and I think that piece of music is the original version of the game itself.

In my opinion, games are things that you try to perfect to the end, so that game fans will enjoy them after they make a purchase. I think it’s odd to say you don’t have time for director comments, or to remove directors and not let them get involved without consulting him first.

I’m banned from retweeting and liking on social media and things like that, so I don’t think Square Enix values ​​gaming fans. I received a lot of comments and beautiful illustrations about Balan Wonderworld, but I couldn’t do anything about it, and I felt sorry.

I want to really apologize to the people who bought Balan Wonderwold, which to me is not finished yet. In future, if you mention and tag me alone on social media and the like, I’m sure there will come a time when I can react.

Since you’re making a game, I think it’s obvious to ask for corrections to make it better. If it can’t be done, then I think it’s fine to talk about it, but it doesn’t seem like it can be done. I don’t think [Square Enix] appreciate the game.”

It’s about Sonic the Hedgehog, but two weeks before we finish the master, I changed it so that if you have just one ring, you don’t die. As everyone knows, because I kept trying to make this game better until the very last moment like this, even now people all over the world can still enjoy playing it, I think. #SonicTheHedgehog

Making games better to the last chance is what makes games creators, and I really think it’s weird to make it so that you can’t. I contracted a lawyer and tried to negotiate to at least be able to issue development comments to the end, but [Square Enix] didn’t listen to me at all, so I filed a lawsuit.

I think this situation is a big part of why Balan Wonderworld became the way it was and got the reviews that everyone knows. I’m really disappointed that the game I made from scratch ended up like this.

All I can feel is regret that Wonderworld Balan was sent into the world as, what to me, an unfinished game. I had a lot of thoughts on how to release a proper action game to the world. I think Square Enix and Arzest are companies that don’t value games and game fans.

In case you’re wondering, no, Naka hasn’t detailed what specific charges he’s accusing Square Enix of in the lawsuit, what damages he’s seeking, or whether or not the courts won him.

Source: Twitter/@nakayuji via Hachima Kiko
Image: YouTube/Nintendo
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