NiGHTS producer photoshops co-creator out of anniversary photo

An anniversary celebration for NiGHTS has been undercut by producer Yuji Naka cropping out the game’s co-creator from an old photo.

One word that can be used to describe Sonic The Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka is ‘blunt’. Unlike some names in the industry, Naka isn’t afraid to air his feelings on social media.

This past year alone, he casually dropped the bombshell that the rumours of Michael Jackson working on Sonic The Hedgehog 3’s soundtrack were true and revealed that he had sued Square Enix over Balan Wonderworld’s poor quality.

Now, in an act so petty that it borders on cartoonish, Naka has celebrated the anniversary of NiGHTS Into Dreams by shunning his former colleague and NiGHTS co-creator Naoto Ohshima.

At first, Naka’s celebration message seems innocuous enough. He simply shared a photo taken 26 years ago at a Sega Saturn software presentation, where NiGHTS was announced.

Except when you look at the bottom left, you can see he’s scribbled somebody out of the picture, making it look like a miniature Darth Vader was in attendance.

Fans on social media quickly realised that it was Ohshima who was cropped out, which really undermines the whole celebratory feeling Naka’s message is trying to achieve.

‘Naka came to visit with his team to tour our studio, look at our tools and engine,’ he explained. ‘He didn’t realise that the people on my team, a lot of them spoke fluent Japanese, including my lead engineer.

‘He started speaking in Japanese assuming that no one would understand; started talking about what parts of our tech they were going take for Sonic and then basically said as soon as they ship, fire everyone but one of the engineers who knows their system and roll him onto our team for Sonic. And my team heard all that, so you can imagine how they felt. … Naka was pretty powerful at Sega at that time.’

As for what Naka’s doing now, he released a free-to-play mobile game called Shot2048 and remains the sole employee of Prope, an independent studio he founded in 2006.

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