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Yuji Naka erases former co-worker from NiGHTS photo, following Balan Wonderworld controversy

A knack for drama.

Yuji Naka has erased former co-worker and Sonic creator Naoto Ohshima from a team photo celebrating the anniversary of Saturn classic NiGHTS Into Dreams.

Naka posted the photo on Twitter for the game's 26th anniversary, but Ohshima has been edited out of the image.

Why? It all relates to controversy where Naka was removed as director from Balan Wonderworld, a game he worked on with Ohshima.

Balan Wonderworld | A Hero Or Two

Balan Wonderworld was published by Square Enix, but Naka left the project after its disastrous launch in April 2021.

Last year, Naka claimed the game was released in an unfinished state and he was removed from his position as director six months before launch.

Since posting the NiGHTS photo, Naka has followed up with a thread providing further insight.

"How would you feel if you were suddenly removed from a game that you had worked hard on for over two years, and when you went to court, you found out that they had been talking about me behind my back in court documents and that is why I was removed from the game?" he said.

"Game creators create games with care for the people who play them. Don't you think that people and companies that cannot take care of games are no good? Instead of talking behind my back, don't you think you should tell them directly before removing them?"

"What would you do if you were to be ill for a long time and unable to do anything because of it? And how would you feel if you were the director of an unfinished game and it was heavily criticised?"

Naka seems to have a knack for courting controversy on Twitter at the moment.

He recently spilled that Michael Jackson had worked on music for Sonic 3 in the wake of the release of Sonic Origins, a long-held rumour that has never been confirmed by Sega.

He then followed up on his tweet stating he had been misunderstood due to using a translation tool.

But those angry messages following the NiGHTS tweet seem pretty legible.

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Ed Nightingale avatar

Ed Nightingale

Deputy News Editor

Ed has an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.