The platformer still has Square’s support, it seems
Balan Wonderworld has had some notable issues, including a rough launch and critical reviews, and even legal proceedings. Still, Square Enix says it can recommend Balan Wonderworld.
During a Q&A session during Square Enix’s earnings briefings (via Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki), Square Enix addressed the topic of Balan Wonderworld. It both confirmed it had a lawsuit case with Yuji Naka, though declined to comment further. And on the subject of Balan itself, Square Enix said it is a game “that we recommend with confidence.”
Square Enix confirmed it had lawsuit case with Yuji Naka but declined to comment further. As for Balan Wonderworld, "it is a game that we recommend with confidence." (from Q&A session during earnings briefing)
— Takashi Mochizuki (@6d6f636869) May 13, 2022
Naka, who’s had quite a career across series like Sonic and Nights into Dreams, recently shared a Twitter thread detailing his side of Balan Wonderworld‘s development. In it, he alleged that Square Enix removed him as director before launch and claimed the publisher, alongside developer Arzest, “are companies that care about neither games nor their fans.” At one point, he says he tried to negotiate for access to address issues in Balan and, failing that, decided to file in court.
It’s a Wonderworld after all
Though Square Enix confirms the lawsuit Naka claims he filed is real, it looks like there’s no further comment on the matter. Well, aside from the publisher’s confidence in Balan Wonderworld.
Balan Wonderworld had a rough launch with low sales and poor critical reception, and even its demo was taken down. In Naka’s thread, the former director says it’s a “true disgrace” Balan Wonderworld was released in the state it was. He did indeed leave Square Enix, and has most recently been working on some solo work.
As for Square Enix, its financial report attributed a deal of success to the incredibly popular MMO Final Fantasy XIV. For its future plans, Square says it intends to “strengthen their IP ecosystem” and establish new studios to facilitate those plans. After the Embracer deal, Square Enix certainly freed up the room for more studios.