Naka’s creation, “Sonic the Hedgehog,” become a national icon and an incredibly successful franchise during his time as the lead developer at longtime Japanese video game developer, Sega. But in 2006, he left the well-known name to embark on a new journey founding his own game studio — Prope. For over 10 years, Prope put out a moderate roster of games, including a couple on the Wii, “Digimon Adventure,” and “Ivy the Kiwi.”
However, Naka jumped ship from his own studio abruptly in 2018, and the studio went bankrupt shortly after, per Siliconera. Prope was being left to its own devices by its maker in exchange for a role at Square Enix, but this leg of Naka’s tenure was short-lived, and he announced his departure from Square Enix in mid-2021 (via Eurogamer). At the time of his departure, Naka had said he “can’t talk about the reason right now.” The “Dragon Quest Tact” mobile game at the heart of Naka’s alleged insider tradition was released in July of 2020.
The Naka-Square Enix chaos doesn’t end there. Earlier this year, the legendary Sonic developer announced that he was suing Square Enix for the abysmal flop of his last game, “Balan Wonderworld,” which underperformed in markets across the world on its opening week. According to Video Games Chronicle, Naka blames Square Enix for releasing the game while still developmentally unfinished. Per Fuji News Network, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is investigating the ongoing situation as part of a larger look into insider trading at Square Enix, where two other executives have also been arrested.
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