“Movie directors create all sorts of movies, and the movie industry is healthy. I wish the game industry was like that as well” -Sonic the Hedgehog Co-Creator Yuji Naka
To quote a great director,
“I’m done with this series. Let’s walk away!” -Steven Spielberg in regards to the continuing the Indiana Jones franchise.
One has to wonder how terrible are the once greatest brands of video game history becoming if their original creators become uninspired, tired of working on them?
Take myself for example. I once was dedicated to writing tons of standard fanfiction, rewriting the same episodes from television shows or same lackluster sequels of movies; it was readable, serviceable, loveable and I did not write slash. Watching upper class arthouse films however, I later decided that I wanted to work on something more ambitious. I wanted to test the medium of screenplay writing like films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Adaptation, Inception, Margaret, etc..
Making a name for himself in 1991 for programming the great SEGA mascot known as Sonic the Hedgehog, Yuji Naka decided in 2006 that he had had enough of the series, and according to Polygon, decided to work on other projects including Let’s Tap, an odd rhythm game requiring a cardboard box and mobile games. Concerning Sonic, Naka states:
“If I stayed there, I would have had to just make Sonic games. Right now I don’t have to make Sonic anymore, so I’m enjoying that freedom a lot.”
With games such as Let’s Tap, he really tested himself as a programmer and craftsman and found a bit of self actualization in his Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Yuji Naka ends by stating contrast to his lack of desire to create another Sonic game,
“I’m not sure how many more years I’ll be creating games, but my dream is to be able to create a character that can be equal to Sonic.”
A suggestion for me would be after seeing himself finish what he sought out to do with Sonic, he could have had an Executive Producer (for movies) or Editor (for comics) role for Sonic to add his name and familiarity with the character to guide future programmers of Sonic.
What do you think could have been done to mend the relationship between Naka and Sonic? Do you think Yuji Naka was finished with Sonic? Comment below or visit the New Gamer Nation forums.