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Yuji Naka may have left Square Enix after the underperformance of Balan Wonderland

The Sonic co-creator is reportedly done at Square Enix after the disappointing performance of Balan Wonderland.


Yuji Naka, who is best known for co-creating Sonic the Hedgehog, opened Balan Company within Square Enix a few years ago, where he would lead development on new titles. Unfortunately, Balan Wonderland, the studio’s debut title, performed quite poorly both critically and financially. Now, it looks like this underperformance may have led to Yuji Naka’s departure from Square Enix.

This news came to light as several people started to notice that Naka had updated his Facebook bio to no longer include that he works at Square Enix. If that’s not convincing enough, he also removed the company from his LinkedIn profile. Neither Naka or Square Enix have publicly acknowledged the exit, but it seems to be the case.

The situation for Yuji Naka gets a bit tougher when you recall that he had to do some convincing in order for the game to be greenlit by the executives over at Square Enix. According to his social accounts, Yuji Naka stopped working at Square Enix on April 30. It’s unclear if Balan Company has also met its end, or if the studio will continue on in some capacity.

Balan Wonderland came out back in March of this year, and wasn’t received very well critically. We ourselves weren’t fans of it either in our Shacknews review. The game also struggled to sell well, turning in poor numbers across different regions and platforms. For future updates on Balan Company and the next endeavor for Yuji Naka, stick with us here on Shacknews.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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