Claims that Yuji Naka was removed from Balan Wonderworld before its release come alongside allegations that the game was released by Square Enix in an unfinished state. Since leaving the company, Naka has been making smartphone games while still pondering retirement.
Here’s a full translation of Naka’s posts claiming he was removed from Balan Wonderworld prior to its release:
Balan Wonderworld allegations and lawsuit
I had filed a lawsuit in court against Square Enix because I was issued a work order removing me as director of Balan Wonderworld about 6 months before the release of Balan Wonderworld. I would like to tell you that the court case is over and the work order is no longer in effect at this time.
I believe that Square Enix is no good if it does not care about games and game fans. According to the court documents, I was removed as director of Balan Wonderworld at two points. This was done by the producer, the publicist, the sound director, the director in charge, and the human resources department.
One was that a YouTuber was going to play the game music on piano for promotion and release the score, and I got in trouble for insisting that I wanted to release the score of the original music, because I thought it was strange to release an original game, but with an arranged music, and a ghostwriter writing the score!
The other thing is that according to the court documents, it says that my relationship with Arzest was disintegrating because of what I said to Arzest about them submitting the game without correcting the problems that occurred during development and my comments to improve the game, and that Oshima talked to the producer Fujimoto about it. I am told that Oshima told producer Fujimoto.
Another point is that Oshima wrote in an e-mail to Fujimoto, “I just gathered the staff together and told them about the decision to move the trial version. This decision was made by producer Fujimoto. We will do our best for Mr. Fujimoto.” The staff applauded and cheered. This was unexpected and we were very moved.
The staff, who had tended to be down lately, was revitalized. Thank you very much. The entire staff will do our best. But I don’t have anything to do with the schedule because it is decided by the producer, not me, and the tight schedule is decided by the producer. Something is not right.
I still think it is not good to release an original game, but only the sheet music of the arranged music is released to the world. I think there is game music that everyone is familiar with that makes your mouth water, and I think that is original game music.
I think that a game should be created with the intention of making it a good game until the very end, so that game fans can enjoy it when they buy it. I think it is strange to remove a director who comments on a game without consulting him or her because there is not enough time to do so.
Retweeting, liking, etc. on social networking sites was also prohibited, so I think Square Enix is not taking good care of game fans. There were a lot of various comments and very nice illustrations of Balan Wonderworld, and I am really sorry that I could not do anything about it.
As for me, I am really sorry to the customers who bought the unfinished Balan Wonderworld. I will be able to respond to your comments and tagging only me on social networking sites in the future.
I think it is only natural to ask for modifications to make the game better, and if you can’t do that, you should just discuss it with me, but it seems you can’t do that. I don’t think they are able to take care of the game.
As for Sonic the Hedgehog, two weeks before the master-up, we changed the specification so that if you have even one ring, you don’t die. We were still trying to make the game better until the last minute to get to this spec that you all know, and I think that everyone around the world is still enjoying the game today.
I think it’s wrong to prevent game creators from improving their games until the very last minute. I asked my lawyer to help me negotiate with them to at least give a comment on the development of the game until the very end, but they didn’t listen at all, so I filed a lawsuit in court.
I believe that this case has a lot to do with the fact that Balan Wonderworld has the results and reputation that you all know. It is really unfortunate that a work that I created from the beginning has such a result.
In my opinion, it is a real shame that I have released an unfinished work, “Balan Wonderworld,” to the world. I wanted to release it to the world as an action game in a proper form, considering various things. I think Square Enix and Arzest are companies that do not care about games and game fans.