Yuji Naka joins Square Enix

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big_smile
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Yuji Naka joins Square Enix

Post by big_smile »

Yuji Naka announced on Facebook that he's joining Square Enix, following in the steps of hedgehog engine creator Yoshihisa Hashimoto.

I guess that must mean Naka's company Prope is dead (The website hasn't been update since June 2017). Back at Sega, Naka had a senior role, so it's surprising that he didn't return.

I'm not sure how I feel. The end of Naka's run at Sega produced some abysmal titles, but I think part of that came from Sega's desire to milk the Sonic franchise. It would have been nice to see what he could do with the franchise after a decade away.

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Re: Yuji Naka joins Square Enix

Post by G.Silver »

I wonder what he'll be doing there? Considering Prope's output I imagine he'll be involved with Square Enix's mobile division.

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Re: Yuji Naka joins Square Enix

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Big companies prefer to stick to established IPs these days (unless there's some paradigm shift I'm not perceiving) and SE is most known for their RPGs and Naka is more an action game guy (Phantasy Star aside). So would he be working on Tomb Raider or, of all things, Gex?

It'd be amusing if it were one of those Yu Suzuki derivatives Square started out with.

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Re: Yuji Naka joins Square Enix

Post by G.Silver »

http://segabits.com/blog/2018/01/22/son ... ogramming/
Segabits wrote:Now Yuji Naka has confirmed via twitter that he joined SQUARE ENIX this month, coming back to game development. According to a earlier tweet from December, he started learning how to develop in Unity, C# and PHP; stating that it was the first time programming in 20 years. That means he stopped doing programming around 1997, which would be after the death of the SEGA Saturn. This would mean Yuji Naka is returning to actually programming games and that for the last twenty years he was more in a managing role and/or producer for Sonic Team and his own studio Prope.
This sounds really speculative (almost irresponsibly speculative imo), but interesting if true. I'm pretty sure it's hard for someone in a Japanese company (or any company really) to step back once they've entered a managerial role. I have a hard time imagining a company like Squenix would be jumping to hire him for programming when he's so qualified for higher positions.
I guess that must mean Naka's company Prope is dead (The website hasn't been update since June 2017).
The game mentioned in the tweet mentioned in that article was actually last updated in December, so Prope must have been functioning in some capacity at least until then. Maybe he left someone else is in charge of it. Or, maybe the reason Naka had to learn C# and Unity was because the company was already dissolved and he needed to make it himself. ;)

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Re: Yuji Naka joins Square Enix

Post by big_smile »

From memory, which might be dodgy, I remember Naka saying he set up Prope so he could do more programming on a small team, so the Sega Bits speculation about him not doing any since the Saturn is probably wrong.

As someone living in England, Naka going from top dog at Sega to opening his own company is a good progression. But then him going to Square Enix seems like such a demotion. Perhaps it's different in Japan.

Prope started doing original IP, but towards the end they were doing license games, so I guess it wasn't going as well as Naka hoped. Perhaps he felt that if he was going to do licenses he might as well get the security that comes from full time employment.

Still I am surprised he didn't go back to Sega. In 2016, SoA had a Sonic event where they announced a later event which was going to be used announce Mania and Forces. I always thought it was odd that Naka would turn up for something so pointless, but maybe he was in talks about going back to Sega and it didn't work out.

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