After a rough preview period in which I spent a weekend hating myself but hoping Balan Wonderworld would end up being better than what I played, the game launched in March and failed to catch attention.
If that doesn’t paint a picture of how rough the Balan Wonderworld launch was, Square Enix even went a step further and removed the demo from storefronts after the full game had launched.
Yuji Naka’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages have updated to reflect his current employment, which shows he left Square Enix on April 30. While Naka was at Square, he formed the Balan Company, a studio within the company that worked on Wonderworld and included longtime collaborators Naoto Ohshima amongst the staff.
Both a critical and commercial failure, Naka spoke to IGN last year, stating that his opportunity with Square Enix was his “one chance” at making a full-scale platformer. In March, the game launched to dismal reviews and sold poorly around the world.
While the bones of a potentially great platformer were there, Balan Wonderworld was a game firmly stuck in the past and one that I had a hard time even talking about. It was a rough game and could never deliver the game it wanted to be because it struggled with nailing its identity.