Here is something you don’t read every day: Yuji Naka, the creator of one of the most recognizable videogame icons of all time, Sonic the Hedgehog, has now joined the development giant Square Enix. Naka was the lead developer of the original Sonic game for Sega Genesis, and continued to work as head of the Sonic Team and producer on many of Sega’s classics like Phantasy Star or Nights into Dreams until his exit of the company in 2006. His return to a big developer perhaps signals that he will get the budget and support to make games of a bigger scale and relevance.
Naka has announced the news via Twitter, where he has posted the following message: “Just a quick note to let you know, I joined SQUARE ENIX in January. I’m joining game development as before, and strive to develop games at SQUARE ENIX. I aim to develop an enjoyable game, please look forward to it.”
Since his exit of Sega, Naka founded the development company Prope, which has released titles like Ivy the Kiwi?, Fishing Resort, Digimon Adventure, and Rodea the Sky Soldier. It is uncertain what will happen to Prope after this, but the wording of the message suggests that Naka has joined Square Enix on its own, instead of being a collaboration of both companies.