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Yuji Naka no longer working at Square Enix

Update: Naka confirms his resignation via Twitter

Industry veteran and co-creator of Sonic The Hedgehog Yuji Naka looks to have left Square Enix following the release of Balan Wonderworld.

According to updates on his personal LinkedIn and Facebook pages, Naka wrapped up his tenure as a senior manager at the company on April 30.

Naka led development on the adventure title Balan Wonderworld, which launched back in March. The game was received poorly by the press, amassing a Metacritic score of just 36%.

Naka is best known as the former head of Sonic Team, where he also worked as the lead programmer of the original Sonic The Hedgehog. He later led development on other Sega titles such as Nights into Dreams, Burning Rangers and Phantasy Star Online.

Speaking to IGN back in September last year, Naka discussed how Balan Wonderworld was his "one chance" to make a full-scale platform game. has reached out to Square Enix for further clarification.

Update: A Square Enix representative said via email: "We can confirm that Yuji Naka is no longer an employee of Square Enix. We have no other information."

Update: Naka confirmed his resignation from Square Enix on June 5th via Twitter.

"Because of inquiries from the media and users, I can confirm I resigned from Square Enix at the end of April 2021," Naka wrote.

"I can't tell you why right now, but I hope to be able to tell you when the time comes. As for my future activities, I'm already 55 years old, so I might retire."

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Danielle Partis

News Editor

Danielle is a multi award-winning journalist and editor that joined in 2021. She previously served as editor at, and is also a co-founder of games outlet Overlode.