Yuji Naka Explains Why He Partnered With Namco Bandai

By Spencer . April 27, 2010 . 1:43pm

imageSonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka has a long history with Sega. Even after he left the company, Sega funded Prope and published their first two games on Wii. However, rival company Namco Bandai just published Ivy the Kiwi? on Wii and Nintendo DS last week.


So, why did Yuji Naka link up with Namco Bandai?


“Now, there are few companies that challenge me,” Naka said in an interview with Impress Watch. “Namco Bandai Games is a company that gives me a challenge. As a developer, I’m extremely pleased. It’s interesting to keep up with the industry.”


Ivy the Kiwi? was originally made for Windows Mobile phones. The challenge, perhaps, was adding multiplayer modes to the Nintendo DS and Wii versions. We took the Nintendo DS one for a little spin and you can read our impressions of that here.

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  • JeremyR

    And he didn’t want his game brought to NA? (Since it seems Namco-Bandai rarely does that anymore…)

    • malek86

      Well, he did say he wanted a challenge…

  • kupomogli

    So his company is where it is right now because Sega supplied the funds for it, but then goes to Namco Bandai? Then in different words he’s basically saying “Namco Bandai is better than Sega.” What a douchebag. Way to show some loyalty to a company that helps you out.

    • sariachan

      I could reply that SEGA became what is is (or better, what it was :( ) also (if not mostly) thanks to Yuji Naka’s games… do you know he was Sonic Team head, don’t you? ;)

      • kupomogli

        Which you could potentially say over 50% of the Sonic Teams games have sucked. Why are they called Sonic team and there you go.

        Outrun, Phantasy Star 1, 2, Phantasy Star Online and Universe series, and Feel the Magic are the best things that’s come from them.

        Aside from that. They stlil spent the money to fund his company. Sure he is “one” of the people to get Sega as well known as it is, but its his job. Just like any other video game company or place of employment, you’re required to do your job.

        • malek86

          But your job is limited by what your contract says. If the contract with them is over, why shouldn’t they move on? Mistwalker did the same thing, after being opened with Microsoft’s money, they eventually moved on, and even got into a partnership with Nintendo. Stuff like this is normal.

        • sariachan

          Their games were great, the new Sonic Team ones aren’t.

  • LOL, I gotta love the irony.

    First, Naka’s creation, Sonic, is SEGA’s mascot, to the point it overshadowed Sakura Taisen, alongside other SEGA IPs… in America, courtesy of Bernie Stolar.

    Now, Naka jumped ship to Namco Bandai, which everybody knows by now IT’S OVER 9000 times busy with Dragonball, to the point it outsources Ar Tonelico to NISA, Summon Night and SRW: OG to Atlus USA, alongside other games to XSEED.

    Naka, I’ll end this post in two words: good luck.

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