Sonic creator Yuji Naka arrested for insider trading involving new Dragon Quest game

According to Japanese news site fnn, Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka has been arrested for insider trading involving the Dragon Quest Tact mobile game.  According to the news site, Yuji Naka used insider information while working at Square-Enix about (then) unannounced “Dragon Quest Tact” mobile game which was being developed jointly by Square-Enix and Aiming for mobile devices.

Yuji Naka allegedly used this information to purchase over 10,000 shares of Aiming stock for approximately 2.8 million yen (about 20k USD).  Yuji Naka left SEGA way back in 2006 to form Prope, he would then join Square Enix in 2018 and then left after Balan Wonderworld bombed. Yuji Naka even had heated words for Square Enix claiming they don’t value games.

For now we wait to see more details. Quite a journey that Yuji Naka has taken in the last few years.

Yuji Naka talks about working at Square-Enix, says company doesn’t ‘value games’

It seems that Yuji Naka isn’t happy with his time working at Square-Enix, which started back in 2019. Since then Yuji Naka and Square-Enix have announced Balan Wonderworld, had him removed as director before the game released and ended with Yuji Naka leaving Square-Enix last year. Yuji Naka has actually been rather silent over the whole thing, even if Balan Wonderworld has been getting trashed online for months after release, which dragged his name through the dirt.

Now Yuji Naka has taken to Twitter to discuss working with Square-Enix, saying that the company doesn’t value making good games and that Yuji Naka even tried to get his lawyer involved so they could get more time to develop Balan Wonderworld. The messages below are from his Japanese Twitter thread, translated via @Cheesemeister3k:

SEGA Talk Podcast #76: Yuji Naka’s Let’s Tap (2008)

This time on SEGA Talk we dive deep into Yuji Naka’s studio PROPE, his departure from SEGA and the creation of his first independent title: Let’s Tap! So get your fingers ready to tap and let’s get into it…

Support us on Patreon! Get early access, tell us what games to cover, and have your SEGA memories read at the end and more!

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If you want to give us feedback, suggest a topic for the next podcast or want to ask a question for us to answer on the next episode you can add  them as a comment below or send theme directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!

Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima present BALAN WONDERWORLD, a new platformer published by Square Enix

While we’re quite late in covering this, I did think it was necessary to news the reveal of Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima’s project at Square Enix seeing as we had an article about Naka’s Square Enix project last year. BALAN WONDERWORLD is an entirely new 3D action-platformer with hints of NiGHTS into Dreams and classic Squaresoft art styles. As described in the video above, the game features a costume system (of which there are over 80) which gives the player various actions. Different costumes will allow the player to solve the game’s puzzles and progress through the stages.

Sonic Co-Creator Yuji Naka working on original action game at Square Enix


We’ve known since last year that Yuji Naka had joined Square Enix, where he said he was returning as a programmer for the first time since 1997. Now he updated us on Twitter with a message on his birthday:

“Thank you for your birthday message. Today I’m 54 years old. How many games will I be able to make by the retirement age, including the original action game that I’m currently making at Square Enix? I’d like to work hard to develop a game that everyone around the world can enjoy.”

It will be interesting to see what Yuji Naka has in store for us in the near future, even if it isn’t under SEGA’s publishing arm.

[Via: Gematsu]

Historical SEGA Enterprise HQ building to be torn down


Earlier today legendary SEGA game developer Yuji Naka took to Twitter to post a tweet paying his goodbyes to the historical SEGA Enterprise HQ building that will be torn down.

“It’s sad that the former Sega HQ building is going away. I remember making all kinds of games in my 22 years there. It may be on the edge of Tokyo, but it was truly an honor to be able to reach the world from there. It’s too bad. I loved Sega Enterprises.”Yuji Naka (translated by Cheesmeister3k)

Honestly I’m one of those people that don’t think buildings like this should be destroyed and that SEGA’s history in gaming is worth preserving. What’s your opinion? Press F to pay respect.

Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka joins SQUARE ENIX, returns to programming

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Yuji Naka has always been a big name to SEGA fans, not only did he program Sonic the Hedgehog on the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive, he also has a long history of being a company man. Yuji Naka’s first game for SEGA started way back in the SG-1000 days with Girl’s Garden (in 1984!). After that he helped launch SEGA classics such as NiGHTs Into Dreams…, Samba De Amigo, ChuChu Rocket!, Burning Rangers, Phantasy Star Online, and the list goes on.

SEGA Talk Podcast #06: NiGHTS into Dreams… (1996)

We have a very special episode of the SEGA Talk Podcast as we cover not only NiGHTS into Dreams… but also Christmas NiGHTS. We have a interesting discussion on the development of NiGHTS into Dreams…, how it shifted Sonic Team into creating a new mascot, the game’s iconic soundtrack, and even speak about our thoughts on the game play. Make sure to stay on to hear us talk about Christmas NiGHTS during the end of the podcast to get some holiday cheers. Get your eggnog, turn up your speakers and let’s talk about NiGHTS into Dreams…  (and Christmas NiGHTS)

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If you want to give us feedback, suggest a topic for the next podcast or want to ask a question for us to answer on the next episode you can add them as a comment below or send theme directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!

SEGA News Bits: Sonic the Hedgehog Creator Wants A True Mario Crossover

Welcome to a new crossover special episode of the SEGA News Bits, today George and Barry talk about Sonic the Hedgehog Creator Yuji Naka’s recent interview where he said he wanted a Mario & Sonic crossover action game. I know what you are thinking, that there are already Mario & Sonic the Hedgehog crossover games in the form of Olympic titles, but that isn’t really what fans and Yuji Naka envisioned for a Mario & Sonic the Hedgehog crossover game. Tune in and let us know what your ideal Mario & Sonic crossover game would be.

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Yuji Naka wants to see a Mario and Sonic crossover action game

SonicandMarioCrossOver

We know that Mario and Sonic have had a long line of crossover Olympic titles throughout recent years, but that isn’t what Yuji Naka, one of Sonic’s creators envisioned for the duo’s cross over.

Recently Yuji Naka spoke with the Japanese website Famitsu about the origins of Mario and Sonic game, which started talks as an action game during the GameCube era when SEGA first went 3rd party. As we know today, this lead nowhere and Mario and Sonic didn’t happen until SEGA acquired the license to make Olympic video games.

Here is Yuji Naka talking about Mario and Sonic co-starring on titles based around the Olympics and the origins of the project:

“Actually, I wanted Mario [and Sonic] to appear together, so one time I went to give Miyamoto-san a presentation on how I want to create an action game which is co-starred by Mario and Sonic. It was in the GameCube days, and I took around four planners with me. It is a pity that the discussion was ‘clearly it isn’t necessary for Mario and Sonic to co-star in an action [game]’ and it didn’t become a reality, but SEGA was able to get the license for the Olympics just at that time, so in order to make the best use of the license, companion characters appeared together. A little later Sonic appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. However, this too came into reality because I requested from Sakurai-san, ‘I want Sonic to appear [in Smash Bros.]’. The Olympics is a bit different from my wish, but I think it’s a good thing that children around the world are happy about them co-starring. But someday I want to realize an action [game] together with Mario. I think I’m going to give another presentation so that Takashi [Iizuka] finds the necessity [of a Mario & Sonic action game] (laughs).” – Yuji Naka

Yuji Naka wasn’t the only original Sonic the Hedgehog creator to chime in on the interview, original Sonic designer Naoto Ohshima said the following:

SEGA News Bits: Sonic 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel Discussion

Come get nerdy with me and Barry as we talk about the Sonic 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel and our thoughts on the secret announcement. The panel was moderated by Aaron Webber (Sonic community manager), featured the ex-Sonic Team developer Yuji Naka, current head of Sonic Team Takashi Iizuka, current voice actors Roger Craig Smith (Sonic the Hedgehog), and Mike Pollock (Dr. Eggman). This will be one of the many Sonic 25th Anniversary events SEGA has plan for this year, so expect more coverage on the site!

If you want to see the panel yourself, we have it up here. What did you think of the Sonic 25th Anniversary panel? Tell us in the comments below.

Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel

The Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel took place on Saturday and was live streamed on Twitch.TV. Now you can watch the panel at your own leisure on YouTube. The panel had Yuji Naka (ex-head of Sonic Team), Takashi Iizuka (head of Sonic Team), Roger Craig Smith (voice of Sonic) and Mike Pollock (voice of Eggman).

Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel is a little under 40 minutes long and goes through the history of the franchise. The biggest announcement was the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary party that we posted about.

So what are your thoughts on the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel?

SEGA Announces Sonic 25th Anniversary Party in July during San Diego Comic Con

Sonic25thAnniversaryPartyDuring SEGA’s SxSW panel, which was filled with Sonic the Hedgehog alumni including series developers Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka. SEGA announced that they will be having a Sonic 25th Anniversary Party on July . The party will be held in San Diego and tickets are already on sale! Tickets cost $25 dollars and can be purchased online at Universe.com/Sonic25.

This was the announcement that Sonic the Hedgehog teased for the event, even if Sonic fans want it to be the Sonic 25th Anniversary game instead. Who knows, maybe that’s what will be shown at the Sonic 25th Anniversary party?

After the break, read the full event description.

The History of Sega Japan R&D, Part 1: The Origins and the 80s

THE ORIGINS

Sega is an interesting company when it comes to their origins. There are companies like Namco, Taito and Konami that started in the 60s with electromechanical games and there are those like Capcom and Square that started in the 80s with video games. Sega is different.

Sega had its roots even earlier with slots and jukeboxes in the 1940s in Hawaii, when they were known as Standard Games. Today, Sega of Japan would rather say that Sega didn’t start until it was moved to Tokyo and renamed to Service Games in 1951. However all that expertise in manufacturing slots and jukeboxes during the Standard Games days really gave Sega the boost they needed when they entered the market to manufacture their very first “Amusement Machine” in 1965, Periscope, which the company still prides itself for as it was their first worldwide commerical success.

NIS America interviews Yuji Naka to promote Rodea: The Sky Soldier

NIS America just posted an interview with Rodea the Sky Soldier creator Yuji Naka (Sonic the Hedgehog, Chu Chu Rocket and NiGHTS) and director Zin Hasegawa (Fatal Frame series) on their Youtube channel. It’s a pretty interesting interview with Yuji Naka starting off by saying that it has been a long time and it really has, so it’s good to see him do these types of interviews for games again.

Yuji Naka even talks about how he has created games that have to do with speed like Sonic the Hedgehog and flying games like NiGHTS and whether that factored into creating Rodea the Sky Soldier since it has similarities. Listen in and I hope Prope and SEGA work on a project again in the near future.