Unfortunately, Balan Wonderworld didn’t have the success that Square Enix hoped for. And unfortunately for Yuji Naka, the game’s director and the former head of Sonic Team, the result has been that he is no longer working at Square Enix.Continue reading Yuji Naka Is No Longer Working At Square Enix
Just recently, Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima spoke with the Japanese magazine Famitsu, and commented on the origins of the Mario & Sonic series, as well as Sonic joining Super Smash Bros. Brawl. But Yuji Naka also said that he wishes to give another presentation to Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka about a potential Mario & Sonic action game. See the quote below.
SEGA Japan has recently put up a new website archiving all of its digital download games, and thanks to the keen eyes of Woun over at Sonic Scene, we’ve got some interesting news to report. If you take a look underneath Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, you can see not only SEGA listed as a copyright holder, but PROPE, too. PROPE, as a lot of you will know, is the developer founded by Sonic the Hedgehog’s original creator, Yuji Naka. Could this mean Yuji Naka’s development studio had a part in Sonic the Hedgehog 4‘s development, or is it just an error?
Thanks to SSMB member and Sonic Scene founder Woun for the heads up!
You probably thought that most of the Sonic Team Old Guard don’t really get on. Well, today Yuji Naka proved that this was not the case, as he posted photos on his Twitter account about an encounter with Sonic the Hedgehog designer Naoto Oshima! The artist, who left Sega shortly after Sonic Adventure to form Artoon, visited Naka’s PROPE studio and brought with him a little gift.
I think it’s fair to say we all want that picture. Yuji Naka then posted a Tweet with the following photo, adding that current Sonic Team boss Takashi Iizuka joined the pair for some dinner in a local grilled chicken restaurant. Beers in hand as well, it seems like. The Japanese work hard and dine hard as well, it seems.
This funky meeting of minds most likely served absolutely no purpose other than to have old friends sit down and have a few drinks – but no doubt the topic of Sonic will come up. We can just imagine Naka-san asking Iizuka how work is like, with Iizuka throwing his hands up and jovially exclaiming “oh you know, the same old. That crazy fanbase, eh?” followed by chuckles around the table.
All three developers have had a big hand in shaping Sonic into the gaming icon he is today – Naka-san programmed the original Sonic games, and led Sonic Team during the Dreamcast era, while Naoto Oshima designed the Sonic characters themselves. Takashi Iizuka, although he largely oversees development on modern Sonic titles, began his tenure at the studio working as a level designer for Sonic 3 and Knuckles, and was the lead game designer for NiGHTS into Dreams.
A double dose of simplicity hits the Wii today in North America with the retail and download releases of Prope’s “Let’s Tap” and “Let’s Catch.” “Let’s Tap” is going at a $29.99 price tag, while “Catch” is worth 1,000 Nintendo Points on WiiWare. A European release date has yet to be announced for either title, as many outlets list it as “Summer 2009” or “To Be Announced.” Check out some video of the two titles below:
Are you interested in picking up either of Naka’s new projects? Let us know in the comments below.
Is that Morph you’re holding there, Mr. Naka?
What is it with all this Yuji Naka talk lately? We may as well rename ourselves to ‘Naka News’ from now on. Gaming website Kikizo managed to catch up with the man behind such masterpieces as NiGHTS and Burning Rangers for a short interview on his new company, Prope. Looking pretty swarve, Naka turned up to the interview suitably dressed with ‘Let’s Tap!’ figurine in hand all set to promote his new game- however, Kikizo had other ideas in mind.
Naka was asked a series of questions consisting of his opinions on SEGA leaving the hardware market, what his current relationship with SEGA is at and why his socks are the colour orange. They even threw in the question always on a Sonic fan’s mind, did Michael Jackson really compose the music to Sonic 3?
Naka slyly replied:
Naka: [laughs] It’s best that you ask Sega!
Kikizo: Well, er, it was your game, Naka-san… nobody at Sega would even know any more…
Naka: It’s a mystery [laughs]. This information is on a need-to-know basis! [laughs more] One day, when the time comes, I will give you the information!
The inevitable question regarding Naka’s company ‘Prope’ (pronounced Pro-Pay for all those wondering) developing a character based game similar to Sonic quickly came around, to which Naka confirmed that the title has spent a very small time in development and he cannot confirm whether or not the idea will be approved by SEGA. He’ll tell media when the time comes.
You can read Kikizo’s interview with the man himself on their website here. Oh, and if you are still wondering on the question of his orange socks, they’re to match the Prope company logo which is reminiscent of the US orange Dreamcast logo colour. Awesome.
As we write this, print and major online journalists are most likely awaiting (or on their way, no thanks to the snow) to become an audience with Yuji Naka, famed programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Now the leader of part-SEGA funded studio PROPE, he will visit the European headquarters of the publisher to talk about Let’s Tap. So it can be assumed there will be a European release.
From what we gather, there may be some announcements or two on top of this, but it’s not certain whether said news will relate to the inevitable EU release of the future tapping game or be something else entirely. Other high profile SEGA games, such as Madworld and Sonic and the Black Knight, will be playable for the press today as well, so you can expect some previews appearing in your favourite magazines soon, along with interviews of Naka-san.
Unfortunately, TSS couldn’t make the trip today – we’re washing our hair. But keep an eye out as we will be on the trail for all the news that trickles out of this very exclusive event.
Yuji Naka’s proving he nicked the best part of Sonic Team when he formed Prope by showing off more of his first project, Let’s Tap. I’ll be honest, I’ve had enough of pointless Wii party games, but this one intrigues me. Mostly because, having Yuji Naka on board and doing some grass-roots programming and stuff, it won’t suck.
Watch this five minute trailer of all the minigames you can tap your way along. The music is spot on too, and the whole style is just classic Sonic Team. Only, they’re not anymore. But, you know what I mean. If you’re wondering where the heart of Iizuka’s studio’s gone, Prope’s probably where it is now.
Future Tapping Game.
I am sure lots of you are wondering what Yuji Naka has been working on these days. Ever since Yuji Naka left his position at SEGA to form the SEGA funded Prope Studio, we’ve been given very little in the way of details in regards to what he is doing. All that has been revealed so far is that his team is developing some sort of Wii games. Now, finally, it appears Prope is about ready to shed some light on it’s new project. They have updated their website with a teaser image, which you can view here.
The teaser appears to have a countdown. Originally, it appeared to be counting down to the first day of TGS, but it has since been pushed back a week. Whatever this project is, we should be finding out in about 16 days. Heres hoping that the fact that this will be the first game penguins can play is a good thing for the project.
SEGA grows a spine to go with Sonics’ set of balls; Naka gives a Proper introduction, while death brings life to the Sonic franchise. It’s all happening; Sonic News catches up with Sonic developers past and present.
Backbone Entertainment (the company behind the upcoming PSP game Sonic Rivals) has finished a reconstruction of their official website which began during the E3 Consumer Electronics Expo (perhaps in anticipation to the attention the event would generate toward the studio).
The site features its own Sonic Rivals page, and although that offers no new information, if you navigate to the Vancouver studios blog entry, studio head Joe Bonar reveals that the game will be running on the internally developed Reaper Engine. Continue reading Studio a-go-go
Rumours of Yuji Naka’s immanent departure from SEGA seemed greatly exaggerated when SEGA’s Sonic Channel (the Japanese Sonic mini site) seemed to imply it was all part of an elaborate prank, devised to coheres swarms of fans into believing Naka was leaving to set up is own restaurant titled Yumeshiya. The prank was part of SEGA’s April fool, which due to time differences had occurred a day earlier than other parts of the world which led many a western fan to believe it was true. The joke did however serve another purpose: To draw people’s attention away from the growing concern that Naka was leaving SEGA to found his own development studio, and that SEGA would own a small stake in the company. Now it seems these rumours have indeed been confirmed. Continue reading Yuji Naka leaves Sonic Team