The colorful, summer-announced 3D platformer Balan Wonderworld could be the last platforming game Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka makes, that is if sales fall below what publisher Square Enix is expecting.
The news comes via a new interview with Naka and IGN Japan (via IGN SEA), where the veteran creator revealed he was given the greenlight by the president of Square Enix to make the “full-scale platform” game, but that it was his “one chance.”
Despite there being no guarantee he’ll get another chance at a sequel to Balan Wonderworld, Naka is confident in their title – he’s even launched a new company based around it, “Balan Company”, a nod to his roots with Sonic the Hedgehog and the legendary Sonic Team. “Such is my enthusiasm for continuing to make action games,” he said.
Obviously, the popularity and sales of Balan Wonderworld will dictate whether or not Naka and his team get to make a platformer sequel. Square is generally known for their role-playing games, to which Naka teased “I don’t think I’d be good at making RPGs,” despite having worked on them before for Sega, like the original Phantasy Star Online.
Naka also talked up the ambitious scope of the platforming action in Balan Wonderworld, noting its somewhat of a culmination of platformers with its massive variety of 80 abilities you can copy and use in-game. “During the proposal stage I wrote down that it would have 80 different types of action, but I thought that once I actually started making the game, I would run out of steam at around 40,” he said.
Lastly, Naka talked up the fact that shooting games tend to be the most popular genre in the industry these days, however he remains unphased. “A lot of popular games these days are based on shooting, but I always want to make pure action games,” Naka said.
Balan Wonderworld launches March 26, 2021 across Windows PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.