Game programmer and instructor Yuji Naka revealed on Thursday on Twitter that he had filed a lawsuit against Square Enix after his departure from the company. He said he can now comment on the situation as the trial is over, although he did not provide details on the outcome of the trial.
Naka claimed that according to court documents, Square Enix removed him as director of Balan Wonderworld the game six months before the game was launched due to a strained relationship with the game’s developer Arzest and a dispute over the game’s soundtrack. Naka added that according to court documents, Square Enix removed him as director due to objections from the producer, marketing manager, sound manager, CEO and staff of the company.
Naka said he hired a lawyer to help him negotiate the opportunity to comment to the developers until the game was released, as “improving a game until the last minute is what a game creator is,” but as Square Enix rejected his requests, he decided to take the case to court.
Naka stated that he had wanted to improve the game, as Arzest had submitted it without correcting errors, and according to him, court documents showed Square Enix staff indicated the relationship between Square Enix and Arzest broke down after his comments about the game’s flaws. As for the soundtrack issue, Naka said he objected to the game’s promotional material by using an arranged piano performance instead of the original game number, as an original game according to him should use an original song instead of an arranged version. Naka added that court documents said his insistence on using the original song caused problems during production.
he claimed Square Enix removed him as an instructor while the game was still in an unfinished state and then released the game in the same way in an unfinished state. He also apologized to fans who bought the game in that state.
Naka ended his Twitter thread by saying, “I think so Square Enix and Arzest are companies that do not care about games or gaming fans. ”
Naka resigned Square Enix at the end of April 2021. He had stated at the time that he could not explain the reason for the dismissal, but would speak publicly about it when the time came. Han da announced in September 2021, he made a smartphone game as a solo creator, and he released the “hyper-casual” SHOT2048 smartphone games on December 18th.
Naka worked for 22 years at Sega. He is the former head of Sonic Team and main programmer of the original the hedgehog Sonic games for Sega Genesis. He also worked on such games as Nights into dreams and Fantasy Star online while at Sega.
Naka is the President and CEO of the game development company PROPE, which he founded in 2006 after leaving Sega. At PROPE, he worked on such games as Fishing place, Buddy Monsterand The legend of the coin.
Naka came along Square Enix in January 2018. Square Enix released Balan Wonderworld for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam in March 2021.
Image via Yuji Naka‘s Twitter account