Yuji Naka says he left Square Enix at the end of April and he may retire

Yuji Naka left Square Enix end of April departure quit may retires retirement Balan Wonderworld

Square Enix’s Balan Wonderworld was a failure critically, commercially, and in the court of public opinion, despite being created by Yuji Naka and (at co-developer Arzest) Naoto Ohshima, co-creators of Sonic the Hedgehog. Now, Yuji Naka has announced on Twitter that he left Square Enix at the end of April, and he may retire.

Via Gematsu translation, Naka explained, “I resigned from Square Enix at the end of April. While I cannot share the reason right now, I hope to be able to discuss it when the time comes. As for what I’ll do in the future, I’m already 55 years old, so I may as well retire.”

While there can truly be any number of reasons why Yuji Naka left Square Enix, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the failure of Balan Wonderworld had something to do with it. Naka did state last year that this game was his “one chance” to create a platformer for Square Enix, after all.

However, whether he really chooses to retire or not, it’s important to remember that Yuji Naka has had an impressive career even without Sonic the Hedgehog. He worked on the first two Phantasy Star titles, created Nights into Dreams, and even gave the world the spectacular puzzle game that is ChuChu Rocket!. And it’s worth noting that, like anything, Balan Wonderworld has at least some fans; it’s not a game that literally sunk into the earth like E.T.

What do you think of Yuji Naka having left Square Enix, and are you okay if the veteran developer chooses to retire?


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!