Former Sonic programmer and producer, Yuji Naka revealed in a series of scathing tweets that he sued his former employer, Square Enix over his termination as Balan Wonderworld‘s Director while game development was ongoing.
The court case recently ended according to Naka, who doesn’t really reveal the result of the court case or if it was settled. Instead, he reveals the business order termination followed after Naka raised concerns over the unfinished state of the game. It wasn’t just that one instance but also previous instances including when a YouTuber published sheet music of the game’s soundtrack stating that “it’s strange to publish an original game with arranged music by having a ghostwriter write the score!”
Naka’s relationship with the developer, Arzest, got worse after he made a comment about improving the game’s gameplay and technical mechanics. Those issues were never actually fixed months without his involvement following his termination and the game’s eventual premature release, according to Naka. He adds that the company actually “prohibited” from engaging with fans or any illustrations of Balan Wonderworld on social media and is “very sorry that I could not respond.”
“Personally, I believe that it is a true disgrace that Balan Wonderworld was released in the state that it was in. I wanted to show the world an action game in its proper light. Therefore, I believe that Square Enix and Arzest are companies that care about neither games nor their fans,” Yuji Naka said in a Twitter thread, translated by VGC.
Balan Wonderworld was released last March and was critically panned, the game currently has a Metacritic of 36 for Switch and a 51 on PS5. In our review of the game, we stated that Balan Wonderworld is “one of the worst 3D platformers ever to see the light of day” that could give “Sonic ’06 a run for its money.” The game even made it to the bottom of the game section in our “Worst Rated of 2021” feature.