Prope outlines company philosophy

Recent happenings of pertinence to Sonic fans.

Prope outlines company philosophy

Postby big_smile » Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:01 am

Despite being 10 months old, Prope has yet to announce any title. Instead, it has focused its efforts on recruiting new talent. The latest recruitment advertisement published in Yahoo Japan’s career search service contains a brief statement by Yuji Naka which both outlines the company’s philosophy and quells a popular rumour.

According to Naka, Prope will not be working on any sequels. Rumours in Famitsu had originally implied that the new company would be developing a sequel to NiGHTS. Naka, however, specifically names NiGHTS as franchise, along with Sonic, PSO and Samba De Amigo that he no longer wishes to develop. By taking a stand against sequels Prope hopes to be innovative, original and surprising.

Prope also aims to challenge existing development paradigms. The complexities of next-generation hardware have caused studios to swell in size. Prope feels that is damaging the creative process, as it is no longer possible for each team member to have a significant input in the game. As a result, Prope will be hiring no more than 50 people. Interestingly, the section explaining this contains an unusual drawing of a panda, a rabbit and a robot. The sketch has little to do with studio sizes and so may very well be concept art from a forthcoming Prope title.

<center> Image</center>
<center> ^ Could this be concept art from a new title?</center>

The advertisement also clarifies the relationship between Prope and Sega. Prope is independent from Sega allowing it to create titles with complete autonomy. Sega, however, has an exclusive agreement with Prope to publish all of its titles.

In many ways, Prope seems to be returning to the roots of the original Sonic Team, which was also small in sized and strived for originality. Hopefully, this approach will allow Prope to produce games that are of the same calibre as the original Sonic or NiGHTS.
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Postby Ngangbius » Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:31 am

According to Naka, Prope will not be working on any sequels. Rumours in Famitsu had originally implied that the new company would be developing a sequel to NiGHTS. Naka, however, specifically names NiGHTS as franchise, along with Sonic, PSO and Samba De Amigo that he no longer wishes to develop.


The nearly confirms my suspicions that the reason Naka ditched Sega because he was tired of overseeing sequels/expansions of Sonic and PSO.
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Re: Prope outlines company philosophy

Postby Opa-Opa » Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:19 am

big_smile wrote:Sonic, PSO and Samba De Amigo that he no longer wishes to develop.


Hahahahaha.

I have no idea if this is good or bad.
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Postby Dasher » Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:23 am

He always hated Sonic, he always wanted to quit in the middle of production of a Sonic game.
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Postby Double-S- » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:33 am

I think it's pretty good news. Remember back with the Dreamcast and Sega's plethora of awesome new IPs? Yeah, maybe, just maybe, they can recapture the slightest bit of that.
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Postby Zeta » Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:49 am

With "Panda, Bunny, and Robot Adventures?"
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Postby Green Gibbon! » Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:01 pm

Anything but than Fifth Phantom Saga.
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Postby Yami CJMErl » Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:29 pm

That machine thing looks kind of like a 50's-styled EggRobo...
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Postby Zeta » Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:37 pm

That thing's not a rabbit, anyways. It's got a frill around it like flowers that makes it more like an Kon-esque lion jigger or a humanoid daisy.
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Postby Radrappy » Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:00 pm

I think this is pretty exciting. Maybe Naka will finally get to turn that hateful energy into really creative and polished games as an outlet. Either that or more he'll have more time to spend at the race track.

I do agree with what he says about "next gen" development teams though to a point.
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Postby Opa-Opa » Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:32 pm

Zeta wrote:That thing's not a rabbit, anyways. It's got a frill around it like flowers that makes it more like an Kon-esque lion jigger or a humanoid daisy.


Yeah. I'm pretty sure it's a lion... ish.
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Postby Shadow Hog » Sat Mar 10, 2007 3:38 pm

As long as the game's actually good.

I'd always figured it wasn't specifically Naka's fault the <i>Sonic</i> series stinks so bad lately - this'd be his time to prove that I wasn't just imagining things.

BTW <i>Chu Chu Rocket</i> wasn't mentioned in that list.
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Postby gr4yJ4Y » Sun Mar 11, 2007 2:59 pm

I'm sure it can be assumed.
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Postby BlazeHedgehog » Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:12 pm

Personally, the Robot reminds me of Robo, of Chrono Trigger.

Image
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Postby Rolken » Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:00 pm

I predict "innovative, original and surprising" games along the lines of Billy Hatcher.
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Postby Frieza2000 » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:18 am

So the last Sonic games Naka's name appears in are Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Riders. A pitiful ending, but a definitive one at least.
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Postby Dasher » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:05 am

Wait, Naka was actually involved in Shadow? what!?
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Postby Plorpus III » Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:50 pm

Basically, he gave it the OK and prevented Sonic from having a gn. I don't think he did much more than that.
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Postby Dasher » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:47 pm

Ah, it all makes sense now...seriously I dont know if its a good thing that Naka left or not. So far all the stuff I've heard from the remaining of Sonic Team doesnt make me happy either...so who's in charge of SonicTeam now anyway? you know, the new Producer.
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Postby Arcade » Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:26 pm

Naka...going bad? I cant tell you how happy that makes my soul!
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Postby Black Rook » Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:49 pm

Dasher wrote:Ah, it all makes sense now...seriously I dont know if its a good thing that Naka left or not. So far all the stuff I've heard from the remaining of Sonic Team doesnt make me happy either...so who's in charge of SonicTeam now anyway? you know, the new Producer.


Well, most of the problems with the current Sonic franchise are more or less Naka's fault. If he actually started hating doing Sonic sequels, that would really go a long way towards explaining why the Sonic series is what it is right now. I'd heard that Naka and Oshima's falling out concern the direction of the series after SA, which I'd taken to mean that Naka was primarily responsible for the series turning towards the storyline-driven crap it's become. Even if towards the end, all Naka did was give a half-assed "yeah, looks good, whatever, go publish."

As for New Sonic Team... yeah, who's part of it, anyway? I thought in the past, just having Naka involved in some way justified the Sonic Team logo. Is there even still a real Sonic Team?
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Postby cjmcray » Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:19 pm

I never thought Naka was resposible for the bad Sonic games. He had direct involvement with SA2, which remains one of my favorite Sonic games ever, right next to Sonic3&K and Sonic 2.

I don't think Naka really had involvement with Shadow or Heroes. And wasn't Sonic2k6 just a 'Naka pops in for ten minutes, sees how its going, and leaves"?

I can't honestly believe the man who programmed such gems as Sonics 1-Knuckles, had a hand in Shadow, Heroes or 2K6.

I'm not particularly fond of the man, since he takes credit for creating the character of Sonic, when in actuality, Oshima did so, but
he was the one who made the originals as fun as they were, so I know the man has talent.

If he just sat down and put some blood, sweat and tears into creating a proper 3D Sonic, it could be a gem. Instead, he just oversees production on Sonic games now.
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Postby Black Rook » Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:59 pm

SA2 was fun, gameplay-wise, but a lot of the current problems (mainly focus on storyline over gameplay) had their beginnings there before being magnified in later games.

Still, if he did okay some of the post-SA2 nonsense (even if it was just "sure, whatever, when do I get paid?") then he bears some of the responsibility.
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Re: Prope outlines company philosophy

Postby FlashTHD » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:30 pm

Couldn't think of a better topic to bump, so here this is again.

Games™ (the last games magazine I have some degree of trust/interest left for, and it's not even from my country for chrissakes) did a 2 or 3 page thing on their trip to the Prope offices. Since I didn't bring my wallet to the bookstore, couldn't buy it. Here's what I remember, though most of it is confirmation of older info:

- Several good photos of the office. They noted it had a sort of Space Channel 5 motif on the interior and definitely some odd looking furniture. And cubicles. I thought they didn't do cubicles in japan...didn't the circa-2000s (before the merger) Sonic Team LTD. office look wacky on the interior too?

- Ngangbius was exactly right. Naka explained that he decided to fold from Sega because he was tired of overseeing and mentoring stuff instead of getting into the thick of actually making games. (Games™ seems to think Christmas NiGHTS was the very last game he programmed for. True?)

- They're up for developing for anything (cellphones included), but their current mystery thing is indeed for the Wii, and he claims they should be able to pull back the curtain on it by the end of the year. About frigging time.

- Since starting up, he's personally hired 36 (?) more employees, none of which have any connection to Sega. Big suprise, we're not introduced to any of these people.

- No franchises or sequels of any kind will come out of Prope, he says

- He says working with this new group is rather reminiscient of the old days creating stuff at Sonic Team (I think)

- Concerning Sonic in Brawl, he says he hasn't gotten a chance to play it yet (?) but he loves how they included him and how lively he looks in the game; paraphrasing, "it looks like Sonic is having fun in the game too".
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Re: Prope outlines company philosophy

Postby Shadow Hog » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:38 pm

I was JUST wondering what the hell Naka was up to lately, too. Nice to hear SOMETHING, even if it's as vague as "oh, we're making a Wii game, yeah."

No sequels or franchises, huh? Gee, this reminds me of what people once thought of a certain OTHER Japanese game company...
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