Sonic creator blasts Square Enix after saying he sued over his latest game

Balan Wonderworld
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka says he sued Square Enix after being removed as the director of his latest game, 2021's Balan Wonderworld.

In a thread on Twitter (translated by DeepL, via Nibel), Naka said that "about 6 months before the release of Balan Wonderworld, a work order was issued removing me as director [...], so I filed a lawsuit in court against Square Enix. I would like to tell you that the court case is over and the work order is no longer in effect at this time."

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Much of the thread seems to focus on issues around the game's soundtrack, but Naka's critique of Square Enix appears to be scathing, saying that "I think Square Enix is no good if they don't care about games and game fans," and that "I think Square Enix is not taking good care of their game fans."

Naka went on to apologise multiple times for the state that Balan Wonderworld was in at launch, saying that he was "really sorry" for its "unfinished" release. Having been prevented from working on the game several months before it would eventually release, he cited a major change made to the original Sonic game just two weeks before its launch, saying "we were still trying to make the game better until the last minute." He finished his thread by saying that "I think Square Enix and Arzest are companies that do not care about games and game fans."

It's not clear what the outcome of the legal case has been, or exactly what Naka hoped to achieve by filing his case. Naka also cited Arzest, the company that helped co-develop the game, in his thread, but doesn't appear to have filed suit against it. 

Balan Wonderworld released last March to a Metacritic score of just 51 on PS5 and 36 on Nintendo Switch, alongside reports of abysmal sales in its opening week where it failed to chart in major regions. Adding to its launch woes were concerns about a sequence that triggered epileptic seizures in some players, although those were fixed shortly after release.

We've reached out to Square Enix for more information about Naka's claims.

Keep up to date with this list of new games 2022.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.