Naka sued Square Enix over unfinished Balan Wonderworld

Naka sued Square Enix over unfinished Balan Wonderworld

The creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, Yuji Naka, took Japanese publishing giant Square Enix to court following the release of 2021's Balan Wonderworld.

That's according to a thread from the man himself on Twitter, in which he says he instigated legal action against the company after he was removed from the title by a "business order". This was due to his relationship with the project's co-developer Arzest breaking down after the firm submitted the game for release with a number of known bugs, as well as a YouTuber being asked to play some music from the game for marketing rather than the original score being used.

"Game creators are supposed to improve their games until the very end, and I believe that it is wrong to prevent them from carrying out this goal," Naka wrote, as translated by VGC.

"I asked my lawyer to negotiate with our business partners to at least allow me to address issues on Balan Wonderworld’s development until the very end, but they ignored my requests, so I ultimately decided to file a lawsuit in court.

"It is because of this that Balan Wonderworld received all the criticisms and comments you all know well. It is quite unfortunate that a project I had spearheaded from the beginning would turn out this way.

"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."

Balan Wonderworld was released in March 2021 to generally negative reviews. It had previously been reported that Naka departed Square Enix the following June. has reached out to Square Enix for comment

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.