Balan Wonderworld creator Yuji Naka has announced that he has departed Square Enix at the end of April 2021. While he stated he couldn’t share the exact reason why just yet, Naka said he may enter retirement, presumably from game development altogether.
The creator of SEGA’s Phantasy Star Online and Sonic the Hedgehog franchise joined with Square Enix to form Balan Company, a studio created for Naka’s Balan Wonderworld. A 3D action-platformer, the game features a child protagonist whisked away to a magical realm where they must restore balance to peoples’ emotions. Gameplay featured many different costumes that all bestow a unique ability.
Naka’s departure likely comes in the aftermath of Balan Wonderworld’s poor critical and commercial reception, moving less than 2,100 units in its debut week in Japan.