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Was Yuji Naka really as horrible as most people claim?


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I know that most of us are familiar with the term "never meet your heroes" but up until fairly recently, I never heard anything bad about Yuji Naka. While I knew that Yuji Naka was one of the founders of Sonic the Hedgehog series, I had no idea he was kind of jerk who treated his coworkers horribly. I know many things are said and even fewer are actually true but how true is it that Yuji Naka was a horrible person?

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I'm afraid that the answer is yes. Starting from boycotting STI's usage of NiGHTS engine for Sonic X-Treme for no reason and ending on bad management and crunching on literally every Sonic project he was involved, Naka was probably a talented programmer, but horrible and arrogant leader. 

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Passionate about games, a real technology wizard in his prime, fought against SEGA management to make the games he wanted to, and was able to push SEGA systems to their limit...
At the same time, super anal about his work and was a huge asshole to fellow devs, and knowingly backstabbed several areas of SEGA for his own ends. Passion doesn't excuse his behaviours. His list of achievements, and I will not deny that Yuji Naka is responsible for some amazing games that still live to this day, are just as long as his list of sins.

Since I could go all day about Yuji Naka stories, here's one for you:
We all know the turmoil of Sonic X-Treme, and Bernie Stolar (then SEGA of America CEO) suggested that STI used the engine and source code of then still-in-development NiGHTS Into Dreams. Indeed, it was a great 3D engine for Saturn that was easy to use, thanks to the programming work of Yuji Naka. But when he found out, his (understandable) fears of losing the source code, like he did with Sonic 1-3's source code being overwritten for Ristar, made him panic and threaten to quit SEGA; Naka refused his NiGHTS engine to be used in making the Sonic game that would save the Saturn, and he offered no alternatives.
After NiGHTS officially released, he and the rest of Sonic Team panicked when Japanese players sent in letters saying they didn't know what a Sonic in their logo was, and they had just cancelled the only Sonic game in development for Saturn. In response, Sonic Team forced Traveller's Tales to crunch out Sonic R for Saturn in the short span of 9 months fresh off the heels of developing X-Treme's replacement game.

Naka will make brash selfish choices, without realising that it will affect the people around him. In developer retrospectives for Phantasy Star Online, another game Naka directed, the stories that the dev team shared showed an ambitious Naka pushing for features that the dev team had no possible way of implementing yet were forced to do anyway. The game came out well in spite of this, but it shows he hardly ever changed.

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The man was a perfectionist but also had some very specific standards which he wanted to be followed, and if you were below him on the totem pole he'd make you follow them. And if you were higher than him, he'd threaten to quit. 

There's no doubt the man was a great programmer for his day, but wasn't a very good team player. 

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31 minutes ago, azoo said:

Yuji Naka is an asshole, not a good team player.

However, I've seen the Xtreme story splayed out so many times and it drives me nuts.

It completely ignores that all forms of Xtreme prior looked sounded and played terrible, Sega Technical Institute had no understanding of how Sonic OR 3D worked, Sega of America in pure hubris was claiming a lot of the credit and responsibility for Sonic's success in the early 90s and wanted to prove it, and that if the NiGHTS engine were used then Naka and his staff at Sonic Team would be considered partially responsible for what was, in all obviousness, going to be a god-awful game, and one they never had a say on in the first place! 

His response was justified. Xtreme was a disastrous trainwreck, and a full display of how poor Sega of America's form was. Horrendous mismanagement, executives overstepping boundaries, staff in civil war with each other, production crunch nearly killing two staff members.. Seriously, read into it. Naka is a huge asshole, we know this well, but Xtreme is a whoooole 'nother beast. Did you really want that game to come out? Just across the street of Mario 64 and Crash, who at this point would've been out maybe a whole year by it's projected release? I PROMISE you you don't. Pinky promise.

We need to stop using it as the scapegoat for why he's an ass when we have far better reasons. Like cancelling Geist Force and throwing it's staff under the bus for his own short-sighted gains. Or hand waving off literally anything Peter Moore said during the Dreamcast's final days. Or for shit-talking Hirokazu Yasuhara in what seemed to be a move of jealousy for how much better Naughty Dog was doing. Or flaunting how rich he is online with all his million dollar cars. Or you know.. Balan's whole thing.

Anyways, enough with the Xtreme shit. Yeah.

 

He could have given better advice. We've had stories of Miyamoto giving game changing advice to subsidiaries like Retro and Rare that benefitted the overall design. Naka thinks a, "good luck" is supposed to be helpful to a team trying? Especially when that "good luck" was targetted at the earliest stage of the process when the game looked to be developing an identity that wasn't bad (at least not terrible).

Regardless of Naka's other priorities at the time, when his contemporaries found the time to be helpful and try to focus teams together , he was focused in dreamland with Nights; a title that shouldn't have been a company priority. But that's on his hire ups for not getting on his case about that. (After all, THIS IS the man who would've been fine with SEGA going bankrupt with the Dreamcast.)

And no, it was SEGA's engine, that doesn't justify him throwing a temper tantrum. 

Yeah, you're right X-treme had other problems, but he as a SENIOR developer (when you take a lot of credit, people rightfully should look to you for leadership) should have been more cooperative or sympathetic to the X-treme team who were dealt a really shitty hand after Yasuhara quit (a man who we know Naka belittled.)

And that's the big kicker. Naka could have shown sympathy, and the project probably would have sank. But he wouldn't be remembered as an asshole for kicking a team while down. 

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1 hour ago, VO.SUPER said:

 

He could have given better advice. We've had stories of Miyamoto giving game changing advice to subsidiaries like Retro and Rare that benefitted the overall design. Naka thinks a, "good luck" is supposed to be helpful to a team trying? Especially when that "good luck" was targetted at the earliest stage of the process when the game looked to be developing an identity that wasn't bad (at least not terrible).

Regardless of Naka's other priorities at the time, when his contemporaries found the time to be helpful and try to focus teams together , he was focused in dreamland with Nights; a title that shouldn't have been a company priority. But that's on his hire ups for not getting on his case about that. (After all, THIS IS the man who would've been fine with SEGA going bankrupt with the Dreamcast.)

And no, it was SEGA's engine, that doesn't justify him throwing a temper tantrum. 

Yeah, you're right X-treme had other problems, but he as a SENIOR developer (when you take a lot of credit, people rightfully should look to you for leadership) should have been more cooperative or sympathetic to the X-treme team who were dealt a really shitty hand after Yasuhara quit (a man who we know Naka belittled.)

And that's the big kicker. Naka could have shown sympathy, and the project probably would have sank. But he wouldn't be remembered as an asshole for kicking a team while down. 

No. Just no. lmao

Xtreme couldn't be saved. The video you posted are purely demonstrations made on CGI workstations, not in-game footage. The 32X can achieve none of that. And tell me true, do you really think if it was, gameplay-wise, that would've been serviceable? We're looking at a game concept there that looks hardly above Bubsy 3D. Sonic is clunkily running around strips of land made of nothing but squares; either meticulously treading over bottomless pits or stuck to the plane by invisible walls. It would've been impressive for maybe five minutes, but upended almost IMMEDIATELY when Nintendo revealed Super Mario 64 in November 1995.

The only right decision Sega Technical Institute could've done was to show some humility. They should've backed off, and tried making a Comix Zone sequel, if they wanted to play to their strengths. "But what about a Saturn Sonic game??" you ask? Lets take a look at our buddies at Travelers' Tales:

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We’d just finished Toy Story, we were keen to get on with the new consoles, the Saturn and the PlayStation. Sega came to us and wanted a meeting. Well, of course, we’ll take a meeting with Sega. They said, we want you to make a Genesis game. We really wanted to do the next-gen stuff. But then they said, it's Sonic the Hedgehog. Oh, that 16-bit game? Yeah, we can do that 16-bit game.

- Lead programmer Jon Burton in a retrospective interview with VentureBeat

Sega of America commissioned TT, a company who proved their technical chops and were actively willing to create 3D games, to make a game for the Genesis instead, likely using the plans Naka and co made for an isometric 2D Sonic game two years prior (what Sonic 3 originally was go to be). As we know, this was because SoA wanted to keep the Genesis alive while they confidently championed the Saturn in Xtreme, and only gave TT their first chance at it after Xtreme cancelled and they needed a fast and loose seven-week-job port of 3D Blast to the Saturn to meet Christmas 1996 deadlines.

Amusingly, it's worth noting that people's recollections of Sonic Team being xenophobic towards western developers didn't seem to apply to Traveler's Tales. Jon Burton speaks quite fondly of the experience making both this game AND Sonic R, and it's well known that Sonic Team cooperated with them on the creation of both titles, helping in game design (Iizuka), level design (Yasuhara)*, art direction (Hoshino) and soundtrack (Senoue/Jacques/Wave Master/etc).

Spoiler

Granted, Yasuhara did go to work on Xtreme late into development too, but it seems less out of desire and more of obligation to ensure QA.

It's almost as if Sonic Team would've gladly worked with developers to make a 3D Sonic game for the Saturn if they were capable and did good work!

And it's almost as if maybe, just maybe, STI wasn't the right people for the job. But yet, look who insisted it be their responsibility to make it. Look who had something to prove. Who needed to show those losers in Japan making the games that Sonic was THEIR baby, and THEIR Sonic was why the hedgehog was so successful! And look who ran their own empire of dirt into the ground. And that isn't even SCRATCHING the surface of SoA's greater sins, considering how responsible they are for Sega's demise as a hardware company..

Yeah, no. Xtreme couldn't be saved. Mr. Naka may not actually be alright, but he was right this time. It's about time people understood that.

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55 minutes ago, azoo said:

 

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Granted, Yasuhara did go to work on Xtreme late into development too, but it seems less out of desire and more of obligation to without QA.

 

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No. Just no. lmao

Xtreme couldn't be saved. The video you posted are purely demonstrations made on CGI workstations, not in-game footage. The 32X can achieve none of that. And tell me true, do you really think if it was, gameplay-wise, that would've been serviceable? We're looking at a game concept there that looks hardly above Bubsy 3D. Sonic is clunkily running around strips of land made of nothing but squares; either meticulously treading over bottomless pits or stuck to the plane by invisible walls. It would've been impressive for maybe five minutes, but would've been upended almost IMMEDIATELY by Nintendo revealing Super Mario 64 in November 1995.

The only right decision Sega Technical Institute could've done was to show some humility. They should've backed off, and tried making a Comix Zone sequel, if they wanted to play to their strengths. "But what about a Saturn Sonic game??" you ask? Lets take a look at our buddies at Travelers' Tales:

I didn't say it would be saved. You interpreted that.  And yeah, I think that as a concept does look good; enough to pursue further to ACTUALLY FLESH OUT. Yes it needs refinement and can't be done on the 32X, but it looks solid as an idea and designwise, something that could have been tightened up. It's a lot like a Sonic take on BUG, and that was a good game. But that's not what this is about whatever my feelings are on this. 

STI show humility? Dude STI gets handed a job and STI does it for SoA, there are no IFS ands or buts about it .SoA says jump and STI says how high. If SoA higher ups wanted a Sonic game done, they do it. Guess what, you're ignoring the actual devs like Cris Senn who was handed a shit hand after Yasuhara left, and HE was part of the original Sonic Team and going to head this project in the beginning, but left after SoA were being too demanding of him. STI is not Tom Kalinske or Bernie Stolar, STI were devs just trying to make deadlines and pitching ideas here and there. 

But you seem to have the idea that STI were a bunch of arrogant people who shouldn't have even have been associated with Sonic, especially when X-treme started out as a smaller project that had to end up holding the burden of launching on the Saturn hardware that no one on the team had experience in because SoA wanted nothing to do with the Saturn. STI is not SoA.

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Sega of America commissioned TT, a company who proved their technical chops and were actively willing to create 3D games, to make a game for the Genesis instead, likely using the plans Naka and co made for an isometric 2D Sonic game two years prior (what Sonic 3 originally was). As we know, this was because SoA wanted to keep the Genesis alive while they confidently championed themselves in Xtreme, and only gave TT their first chance at the Saturn after Xtreme cancelled and they needed a fast and loose seven-week-job port of 3D Blast to the Saturn to meet Christmas 1996 deadlines.

Sega of Japan commissioned them, because Sega of America was too busy imploding from the disaster of the 32X and the collapse of the software market for them. 

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as former Sega producer Kats Sato explains.

“Sega Of America and Sega Of Europe strongly requested a Sonic title on the Mega Drive. At that point, Sega Of Japan decided to use an outsourced team. Somebody at Sega Of Japan found out that Traveller’s Tales had done a really great job on Toy Story for the Mega Drive, and so Sega chose it.”

PressReader.com - Digital Newspaper & Magazine Subscriptions

 

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Amusingly, it's worth noting that people's recollections of Sonic Team being xenophobic towards western developers didn't seem to apply to Traveler's Tales. Jon Burton speaks quite fondly of the experience making both this game AND Sonic R, and it's well known that Sonic Team cooperated with them on the creation of both titles, helping in game design (Iizuka), level design (Yasuhara)*, art direction (Hoshino) and soundtrack (Senoue/Jacques/Wave Master/etc).

None of those people you mentioned are Yuji Naka. This is about him being an asshole, not his entire team. Especially when members of STI in the past have said nothing bad about the other members. 

 

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It's almost as if Sonic Team would've gladly worked with developers to make a 3D Sonic game for the Saturn if they were capable and did good work! And it's almost as if maybe, just maybe, STI wasn't the right people for the job. But yet, look who insisted it be their responsibility to make it. Look who had something to prove. Who needed to show those losers in Japan making the games that Sonic was THEIR baby, and THEIR Sonic was why the hedgehog was so successful! And look who ran their own empire of dirt into the ground. And that isn't even SCRATCHING the surface of SoA's greater sins, considering how responsible they are for Sega's demise as a hardware company..

Maybe they weren't, but that wasn't their call because announcing your bosses that you're not good enough to do a job makes your bosses question why you are even there, and then there goes your job. Especially when SEGA of America were hemorrhaging employees at the time DUE TO THE SOFTWARE MARKET IMPLODING! 

Tom Kalinske and his market speak are not STI. He didn't speak for Cris Senn who showed plenty of respect for the dev team in Japan. Him and his peers weren't writing books about the losers at SoJ, he was too busy nearly dying from overworking. 

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Yeah, no. Xtreme couldn't be saved. Mr. Naka may not actually be alright, but he was right this time. It's about time people understood that.

Who cares if it couldn't be saved at this point. That's not the point. Naka was a dick through the whole process and unhelpful as fuck. This isn't even about X-treme, this is about HIS fucking attitude to another team daring to make Sonic and not even being courtious to OTHER DEVS (not SoA suits) to offer them some damn lip service. No, he throws a tantrum.

Look, I am not trying to say anything about X-treme itself when I criticize Naka's behavior at this point. The thing has been repeatedly called shit, the final project was shit, and it was being handled like shit, but no one at STI were trying to make a bad project out of hubris they were trying to do their jobs without a proper project lead and the closest person they have to a seniority figure basically tells them, "haha, get fucked."

This is not about X-treme. I'm sorry that it sounds like I am saying that, but this team were tied to the damn project and they needed help, or are you saying Chris Senn deserved what was coming to him seeing as he was the head of this project. 

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...I'm sorry. What?

My entire point is that it was corporate who are making the dumb decisions. And although Sega Technical Institute's team couldn't help but work with what commands they were given, they were also the ones coming up with the output that Xtreme was. They could've been respectful people who did their jobs the best they could, but that doesn't mean the end result was going to be any good. That's not to disrespect their hard work (and overwork), that's just facing the facts.

These people didn't understand 3D nor Sonic, and honestly neither did Naka at the time. NiGHTS was an off-the-seat-of-his-pants experiment with his crew, and if he wanted to work with anyone to answer the question of how 3D Sonic worked, he probably wanted his people (the same people who made S1-3K/CD) to be responsible instead of this team who was eating shit left and right. It was not his problem; SoA/STI executives made their bed and unfortunately people under them were paying the price by lying in it.

So who else to blame but Sega of America and STI's leaders? I'm not knocking the staff for trying, I'm knocking the people above them for putting them there. You could do best to at least see the shorthand I'm using instead of assuming I'm attacking Chris Senn for being under the company's heavy hand. Jesus.

And how may I ask do you think anyone was supposed to help them? Naka and Sonic Team were busy making NiGHTS and soon afterward Burning Rangers (as well as juggling Sonic spin offs with 3DBlast and R). Time to split his or his team's attention to help on yet another project, one that they never okayed in the first place and one that shouldn't have existed at all? It's not like Naka is solely responsible for any of Sonic Team's successes either; all of their greatest works were a combined effort from the team. The best he could've done was to send over assistance, and as I mentioned that wasn't an option.

Also from your quote, it sounds less like SoJ actively arranged 3DB and more like they scouted talent SoA/EU was looking for, handed them the okay and they worked from there, based on what was set up. Overall, not quite a decision anyone at ST handled, but not one they objected either.

My point was that if you were someone who was in the position of carrying a brand on your shoulders like that, and are confronted with something some board executives across the pond decided they could do without you, and then you caught them trying to steal your shit to make their thing (said thing very much not meeting quality standards expected from a brand of your team's design), how do you react? That shit is shady, and his reaction is, while juvenile (this IS Naka), wasn't uncalled for. If you have a problem with how Xtreme's development was going, don't blame another man with his hands equally tied, blame the big wigs who put these pieces into place. 

Anyways, enough of this. I'm not gonna keep this going on forever. You obviously see the event here as something that should've been taken personally, I do not. Best this convo moves on. lol

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3 minutes ago, azoo said:

...I'm sorry. What?

My entire point is that it was corporate who are making the dumb decisions. And although Sega Technical Institute's team couldn't help but work with what commands they were given, they were also the ones coming up with the output that Xtreme was. They could've been respectful people who did their jobs the best they could, but that doesn't mean the end result was going to be any good.

And who put them there, but Sega of America and STI's leaders? I'm not knocking the staff for trying, I'm knocking the people above them for putting them there. You could do best to at least see the shorthand I'm using instead of assuming I'm attacking Chris Senn for being under the company's heavy hand. Jesus.

And how may I ask do you think anyone was supposed to help them? Naka and Sonic Team were busy making NiGHTS and soon afterward Burning Rangers (as well as juggling Sonic spin offs with 3DBlast and R). Time to split his or his team's attention to help on yet another project, one that they never okayed in the first place and one that shouldn't have existed at all? It's not like Naka is solely responsible for any of Sonic Team's successes either; all of their greatest works were a combined effort from the team. The best he could've done was to send over assistance, and as I mentioned that wasn't an option.

STI leaders were SoA. Their original leaders were Mark Cerny and Yuji Naka, both of whom dipped on them, leaving a bunch of confused devs taking orders from people like Kalinske who didn't know anything about game making, only making marketting deals and pushing unrealistic deadlines. 

Naka could have given FUCKING CONSTRUCTIVE ADVICE on a better direction. Even if it was fruitless, it was better than saying, "good luck." And look at this. 

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Time to split his or his team's attention to help on yet another project, one that they never okayed in the first place and one that shouldn't have existed at all? It's not like Naka is solely responsible for any of Sonic Team's successes either; all of their greatest works were a combined effort from the team. The best he could've done was to send over assistance, and as I mentioned that wasn't an option.

It had to exist from somewhere. Naka didn't want to do it, but someone had to. SOA said they would and STI went along. It was a Sonic game; it didn't have the luxury to not exist and Naka wasn't the person who could or SHOULD tell them it doesn't have to exist if he won't put in the work himself. Someone was gonna do it and the normal people weren't because they were busy on a side game. That's not how a company functions. 

And you're right about it being a combined effort, but Naka certainly didn't treat it that way with how he acted. He shouldn't be suprised then when junior devs come to him to critique their work. They give him footage of their concept and the best the man can say is fucking "good luck"

 

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Also from your quote, it sounds less like SoJ actively arranged 3DB and more like they scouted talent SoA/EU was looking for, handed them the okay and they worked from there, based on what was set up. Overall, not quite a decision anyone at ST handled, but not one they objected either.

Actually they were mostly in contact with SoE due to the location of their studio. But the point of that quote is the idea that SoA was in such a mess at the time they couldn't even make decisions like this. SoJ recognized the talent and put them in cooperation with SoE and some bits of SoA. It was an actual collaboration. 

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My point was that if you were someone who was in the position of carrying a brand on your shoulders like that, and are confronted with something some board executives across the pond decided they could do without you, and then you caught them trying to steal your shit to make their thing (said thing very much not meeting quality standards expected from a brand of your team's design), how do you react? That shit is shady, and his reaction is, while juvenile (this IS Naka), wasn't uncalled for. If you have a problem with how Xtreme's development was going, don't blame another man with his hands equally tied, blame the big wigs who put these pieces into place. 

Anyways, enough of this. I'm not gonna keep this going on forever. You obviously see the event here as something that should've been taken personally, I do not. Best this convo moves on. lol

You're in that position and you are saying, "no, the mascot can wait." Then you're full of shit. They decided they could do it because they are part of THE SAME COMPANY as you. 

And that shit was company shit. Naka made it on SEGA time. He could've shrugged and been an adult about the matters, but no, he threatened to upheave the entire company for his stupid pride, especially if he had more stuff to work on after nights. Was he gonna just leave ST to flounder Burning Rangers? 

And this, THIS is rich coming from the man who was going to dissolve an entire team to STEAL their code. In their fucking faces. 

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You obviously have a chip on your shoulder about this. Like, very much dodging the weight of the situation and what was on the line in favor of barking off about how much you don't like how Naka acted.

Naka's a dickhead, we know this and have been over it. I myself mentioned exactly what you're referencing in that last sentence in my first post on this (the Geist Force situation). That was messed up of him. That doesn't make the situation with Xtreme and what they were planning to do with his team's content or namesake any less bad. Both of these things can be bad.

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10 hours ago, Indigo Rush said:

 

1.jpg

 

Yeesh, if that's not an unhappy group of game developers, I don't know what is.

Which makes it all the more sad that so many people still treat him as an infallible gaming god. Every time I see someone say "Sonic Team started sucking when Naka left", it makes me shake my head. Sonic Team sucked well before he ever left.

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I have to say, I knew there was trouble underneath Sega as a whole, but…

God-dayum is this a mountain of detail I was unaware of. I knew corporate politics were a pain in Sega, but this is just an erupting volcano that’s new to me.

I suppose that explains the problems with the Sonic franchise as a whole.

Never knew Naka was that bad of a person to work with. And I didn’t know how deep the animosity between the branches really were.

I don’t suppose things are any better, huh?

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Much of Sega's history in their prime is defined by how much SoJ and SoA hated each other. The documentation of their demise as a company is long, and arduous. And yes, it plagued Sonic's ability to construct an identity from the start, and continues to this day.

Compare the regional differences in continuity, to the event horizon of Sonic Xtreme mentioned above, to Sega/Sonic Team's reaction to Boom, to the quiet background decisions made lately by game-adjacent media (Tails Tube, IDW, Prime) to make a more solid continuity in the face of the separate, Hollywood-led movie franchise Sonic. War never changes.

Anyways, back to Naka talk I guess?

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Well for one thing he's very xenophobia. He didn't want to work with any Americans on Sonic 3.

And he wouldn't let the Sonic X-Treme people use the Nights game engine. The game engine doesn't belong to him. It belongs to the company. And anyone at Sega should be allowed to use it for their projects.

Bottom line: the guy sounds like a huge asshole.

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12 minutes ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

I have to say, I knew there was trouble underneath Sega as a whole, but…

God-dayum is this a mountain of detail I was unaware of. I knew corporate politics were a pain in Sega, but this is just an erupting volcano that’s new to me.

I suppose that explains the problems with the Sonic franchise as a whole.

Never knew Naka was that bad of a person to work with. And I didn’t know how deep the animosity between the branches really were.

I don’t suppose things are any better, huh?

I guess you could argue things are better, seeing as SoA is basically a non-entity these days. Though occasionally you get a Sonic Boom, so who knows?

I imagine things are at least more cooperative between branches without so many aueters like Naka running the show with the amount of freedom they had at the end of the Dreamcast era. So there's that.  

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53 minutes ago, Vampfox said:

Well for one thing he's very xenophobia. He didn't want to work with any Americans on Sonic 3.

Two experienced Japanese people directing a team of novice English-speaking developers to make the most important game in the history of the parent company in a rushed timeframe? Because that was what happened and led to problems with Sonic 2.

 

Don't forget that STI was not created for the purposes of making Sonic games; nevermind mainline sequels.  There's little reason to just assume that the development team of Sonic 3 was handpicked by Naka for racist reasoning.

 

53 minutes ago, Vampfox said:

And he wouldn't let the Sonic X-Treme people use the Nights game engine. The game engine doesn't belong to him. It belongs to the company.

It may very well have belonged to him (since it would hardly be the first time Sega fucked that sort of thing up).

 

 

 

In any case, it seems a bit of a wrong step to take to have someone who created something have no say in what it gets used for even if they did make it for the company.

 

53 minutes ago, Vampfox said:

And anyone at Sega should be allowed to use it for their projects.

Even when it wouldn't have made any difference for the end result? Even when the game it was actually designed for wasn't even out yet? Even when it may not actually have been given for the purposes of making a difference for the end result?

 

53 minutes ago, Vampfox said:

Bottom line: the guy sounds like a huge asshole.

Probably not the best guy to be around if you're fucking up or do anything to annoy him, and he certainly wasn't the kind of guy to be leading development by himself with no oversight (which probably contributed to the disaster that was Balan's development when Square did basically exactly that); but I'd say he's more along the lines of John Carmack aloofness than a Brendan McNamara deliberate antipathy.

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10 minutes ago, Tornado said:

Even when it wouldn't have made any difference for the end result? Even when the game it was actually designed for wasn't even out yet? Even when it may not actually have been given for the purposes of making a difference for the end result?

I mean. Yeah, that's just being an employee. Most contracts mandate that whatever you make on company time is not yours. Unless Naka could prove he wasn't making it as a SEGA employee, which I have my doubts. 

And for as much as your story about Bernie Stolar is likely true, it was STI who asked for the engine. At least in their minds it was gonna help them. And at least for Chris Senn he didn't suspect Naka and Stolar had anything going on at the time. 

I want to repeat, I don't doubt anything Stolar would have done, (I.e, he probably swiped it without Naka knowing) even shadily. But even if, he wouldn't have to ask. It just would have been courteous if he did. 

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3 hours ago, Tornado said:

Because that was what happened and led to problems with Sonic 2.

 

Don't forget that STI was not created for the purposes of making Sonic games; nevermind mainline sequels.  There's little reason to just assume that the development team of Sonic 3 was handpicked by Naka for racist reasoning.

 

 

Despite all those problems Sonic 2 still turned out to be a great game. Were there problems? Of course there were, but problems can be worked out.

If STI was not created for the purpose of making main Sonic games than why were they allowed to create Sonic 2?

Also please stop defending xenophobiic people. Xenophobia is wrong period. No need for discussion.

 

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He's not "defending xenophobic people". There are ample reasons to assume there was unjustified animosity between the different sides of SEGA at the time, and it more than likely extended to Naka himself. But there's also reasons to pick a more experienced team that you know and understand better for Sonic 3 when not doing so caused problems for Sonic 2. It's a hell of a lot more likely than him being racist towards white people or whatever. Look at the rest of this thread. We've seen plenty of very-significant reasons to criticize Naka, I'm not sure why you have to construct one this flimsy.

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