Update: Yuji Naka has now confirmed via his personal Twitter account that he has indeed departed Square Enix (as previously believed, it happened back in April), but stated that he can't explain the reason at the time of writing.
Here's the full statement as translated by Video Games Chronicle:
“Because of inquiries from the media and users, I can confirm I resigned from Square Enix at the end of April 2021.
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.”
Original story: Well, this is sad. Yuji Naka, the former head of Team Sonic and most recently the director of Balan Wonderworld, seems to have parted ways with Square Enix.
Naka joined Square Enix in 2018, where he began work on Balan Wonderworld. Just three short years later and following the poor reception to Balan Wonderworld, it appears Naka has left the company. The news was spotted on his Facebook profile by some eagle eyed fans, who noticed his work experience listed he left Square Enix on April 30.
Naka previously spoke to IGN about the creation of Balan Wonderworld last year. At the time, he stated that it was was "one chance" to make a platform action game for Square Enix. Unfortunately, sales of the game have been drastically low, with it hitting bargain bin prices at most retailers.
He also added that he thinks "Square Enix has an RPG image", something which he didn't think he would be good at making. It appears his "one chance" may have come and gone after Balan Wonderworld. We were not fans of the game here at Pure Xbox, but it's still sad to see such a creative mind at the centre of a critical and financial flop.
It's not confirmed whether Naka has been let go or left on his own terms, but it's sad either way. We're still excited to see what he has instore in the future, as despite Balan Wonderworld, he's worked on some incredible titles.
What do you think about Naka's alleged departure from Square Enix? Let us know in the comments below.