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Legendary Sega alum Yuji Naka joins Square Enix

There’s a fork, in the road, sometime in the early-to-mid nineties. A Sliding Doors moment: Squaresoft’s Final Fantasy takes off, and Sega’s Phantasy Star starts to wither a little.

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Yuji Naka joins Square Enix

There’s a fork, in the road, sometime in the early-to-mid nineties. A Sliding Doors moment: Squaresoft’s Final Fantasy takes off, and Sega’s Phantasy Star starts to wither a little.

You could argue there are lots of things that the Phantasy Star series did first: it adopted a high-tech setting before Final Fantasy; it had sentient, talking cat creatures before Squaresoft’s series; it even went into the online MMORPG world first. You could even argue it did lots of things better.

But here we stand, twenty-some years later, and Square Enix is the mega publisher behind Final Fantasy and so much more. Sega all but disappeared for a time, after the discontinuation of the Dreamcast; thankfully it now goes from strength to strength as a third-party publisher.

And one of the legends of the early Sega days – with a creative hand in everything from Sonic the Hedgehog to Phantasy Star – was Yuji Naka.

Naka left Sega in 2006 to follow an independent path, founding Prope. They produced a raft of mobile games, plus a few notable StreetPass games for the 3DS, and some multi-platform Digimon titles.

Today, via Twitter of course, Yuji Naka has announced that he has joined Final Fantasy developer and publisher, Square Enix.

We don’t know what Naka will be working on, yet – our money is on a new game, rather than jumping onto one of Square Enix’s existing properties like, say, Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest – but he has promised it will be enjoyable.

So absolutely, we will look forward to it, Naka-san.


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.