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Square Enix Announces Balan Wonderworld Game by Sonic the Hedgehog Creator Yuji Naka

posted on by Alex Mateo
3D action platformer launches for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS5, PS4, Switch, PC in spring 2021

Square Enix announced on Thursday that Yuji Naka, former head of the Sonic Team and lead programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog games for Sega Genesis, is developing a new 3D action platformer game titled Balan Wonderworld. The game will launch for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam in spring 2021. Square Enix began streaming an announcement trailer.

The game takes place in Wonderworld, the mysterious world of people's hearts. When the balance between positive and negative emotions is destroyed, the door to Wonderworld opens. The game follows Leo and Emma, who end up in Wonderworld and meet a maestro named Balan. The two children, with worries of their own, restore the lost balance in the Wonderworld inhabitants' hearts.

The game features 12 chapters and 80 costumes, which give Leo and Emma special powers and change their appearance.

Square Enix began streaming a behind-the-scenes video, which reveals several staff members.

Naoto Ohshima, character designer of Sonic the Hedgehog is working on character designs, costumes, stage decorations, and boss designs. According to Naka, this is the first time he and Ohshima are working on a project together in over 20 years.

Ikumori Kazuyuki of the Square Enix Visual Works team is working on the game's movie scenes. Ryo Yamasaki is composing the music.

Customers who purchase the game on PS4 can upgrade to the PS5 version for free.

Square Enix announced on July 16 that it launched Balan Company, a new action game brand. The "Company" in the name refers to the cast and staff of a theater group or musical. The brand brings together professionals from Square Enix's internal and external action game development, as well as video and music production sectors.

Naka had revealed in September 2019 that he was working on an original action game at Square Enix. Naka joined the company in January 2019.

Naka joined Sega in 1984 and began developing the first Sonic the Hedgehog game in 1990. He left Sega and the Sonic Team in 2006 to form his own studio Prope. Naka has worked on games such as Ivy the Kiwi?, Fishing Resort, and Rodea the Sky Soldier at Prope.

Sources: Balan Wonerworld's website and Twitter account, official U.S. PlayStation blog


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