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Famed Developer Yuji Naka Joins Square Enix

The lead programmer behind classic Sonic titles is now working with one of the biggest studios in the industry.


There was a time in gaming where the two biggest names on players' minds were Sonic and Mario. Many a playground scuffle was sparked by debating the individual merits of either mascot, and while Mario would eventually enjoy a much more significant reign, there are still plenty of retro-minded gamers who absolutely adore Sonic the Hedgehog. Creating that sort of gaming icon takes talent, and in this case the talent game from now-legendary game programmer and developer Yuji Naka, who handled programming for the original Sonic the Hedgehog and would go on to work with Sonic Team for many years. Now it seems Naka has a new home, as he revealed just earlier today that he's joined forces with powerhouse game development and publishing studio Square Enix.

This is great news not just for Sonic fans but for general game fans alike: Square Enix has been behind some of the biggest hits in gaming across the last two decades, with both Squaresoft and Enix releasing massive hits for the Super NES back when Naka was still cranking out 16-bit Sonic titles for the Sega Genesis. If ever there were a studio that would be worthy of the man's talents, Square Enix seems like a good fit.

Aside from being involved in video game development, we can't say precisely what Naka's role will be at the new studio. Square Enix handles a lot of different properties — far too many to list here — and Naka could essentially find work with any of them. Humble as ever, all we have to go on is Naka's own aim "to develop an enjoyable game." While more concrete details wouldn't go unappreciated, we certainly look forward to seeing where he goes from here.

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