Today Sega announced that
it split Sonic Team up. Sega is helping fund a new studio lets look at the new studio, the game properties its leader is responsible
for and the company’s future.
Sega’s Yuji Naka left
Sega recently to seek further development freedoms and capabilities. Yuji Naka was head of Sonic Team Sega’s elite crème
de la crème developer. Sega encouraged him and requested he take ten of Sonic Teams best with him.
Considering that the new
team will not be an in-house developer for Sega this is very weird.
Yuji Naka was the programmer
who brought Sonic to life which is one of Sega’s most profound titles ever. Yuji Naka is a gaming legend not only did
he program Sonic but was behind the creation of NiGHTS and Phantasy Star. Yuji Naka is also credited for development of SegaSuperStars
for the EyeToy.
Yuji Naka and
ten of SonicTeams best are forming development studio Prope. Prope and Naka are
getting 10-Million Yen from Sega to help get on their feet. All in all Prope is getting 100-Million Yen in seed money. Since
Prope is a third party it has no obligation to develop games for Sega. Prope however has agreed to give Sega first dibs on
anything it creates but will go else where if Sega turns them down.
All in all Sega has split Sonic Team to help build a new third party. Whether its Yuji’s legendary franchises,
great experience or new development team Prope. One things sure this isn’t looking good for SonicTeam.