When Balan Wonderworld was first announced, Sonic the Hedgehog fans were excited to see what creator Yuji Naka might bring to the table. Unfortunately, the end result was not what anyone was hoping for, including Naka. In a Tweet thread today, the director placed the blame on Square Enix and developer Arzest. According to Naka, Arzest submitted the game "despite the fact that there were glitches in the development process." Naka wanted to continue working on known issues with Balan Wonderworld up to the last minute, but Square Enix apparently refused to let that happen.
"It is a real shame that we released the unfinished work #BalanWonderworld to the world. I wanted to release it to the world as an action game in a proper form considering various things. I think Square Enix and Arzest are companies that do not care about games and game fans," wrote Naka.
That's a bold statement to make, and Square Enix and Arzest might have something different to say about the game's problems. It's impossible to say whether Naka's changes might have resulted in a better product, but it's hard to imagine the game could have been worse. Balan Wonderworld released last year to poor reviews, with ComicBook.com's review calling it "a confusing, frustrating slog."
From Naka's description of the situation, it sounds like Square Enix may have been ready to cut its losses on the game, while Naka wanted to continue working to improve the finished product. Naka claimed that he made adjustments on the original Sonic the Hedgehog up to two weeks before that game's launch, and "everyone around the world is still enjoying the game today." It's been more than 30 years since the first Sonic the Hedgehog released on Sega Genesis, and many players will be checking it out for the first time when it releases as part of Sonic Origins in June. Sadly, it seems much less likely that Balan Wonderworld will see similar longevity.
Are you surprised to hear Naka's comments about Balan Wonderworld? Were you excited to check out the game before its release? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!