Square Enix says it still “recommends Balan Wonderworld with confidence” following Yuji Naka’s explosive series of tweets last month in which he alleged Square Enix dismissed him from the game’s development around six months before launch.
Naka filed a lawsuit with Square Enix over the dismissal, which has since been resolved.
The statement was made during Square Enix’s quarterly earnings call with investors on Friday (May 13), while also confirming its involvement in the now-settled lawsuit with Naka (via VGC).
Balan Wonderworld was released in March 2021 to overwhelmingly negative reviews and was equally poor commercially in terms of sales for Square Enix.
Jordan Oloman described the game as “a beautiful tragedy” in NME’s two-star review.
“While the visuals of Balan Wonderworld are inspired and vibrant, they can’t pull all the weight in this mechanically dire platformer,” wrote Oloman.
Naka had formed a new studio within Square Enix, named Balan Company, for the creation of Wonderworld, before being dismissed in April 2021 (although at the time we believed he had voluntarily left).
Naka has since started a one-person development on a new game, although there’s still no word on what it is.
In the beginning of May, Square Enix sold off the majority of its Western studios to Embracer Group and with it a number of its large Western franchises including Tomb Raider, Deux Ex and Thief.
Following the sale, the publisher also announced it wants to establish new studios to help strengthen its intellectual property ecosystem.
In other news, Bohemia Interactive has announced an Arma franchise stream that will be taking place next week.
The stream is set to reveal “the future of Arma,” potentially showcasing Arma 4 or the new Enfusion engine.