Yuji Naka was responsible for the cancellation of one of the Sega Dreamcast's most promising exclusives, it has been revealed.
The claim comes from Mark Subotnick, who worked as a producer at Sega of America during this period and has been speaking about his career with The Retro Hour Podcast.
The game in question is Geist Force, a Star Fox-style on-rails shooter which was first shown at E3 1998, prior to the Dreamcast's release in Japan. The game was intended to be a launch title for North America, and prior to Subotnick's recent revelation, was believed to have been cancelled due to a lack of confidence in the game, missed deadlines and disagreements within the development team. According to Subotnick, this isn't the whole picture.
Subotnick started his career at Sega as a tester in the early '90s before moving into a more PR-led role during the Saturn era. By the time the Dreamcast came along, he was offered the opportunity to lead a team that would be working on a key exclusive:
Before the architecture was solidified, we were already up and running on it... we got the green light to make a game called Geist Force... it was actually the E3 shooter, the thing that Bernie (Stolar, SoA president) showed for Dreamcast at E3... we were to be the launch title. It was a Star Fox clone... I'm not going to say we had any amazing ideas [but] we had a cool narrative that was very different and we actually had a very diverse cast; looking back, we were actually ahead of our time.
Subotnick then opens up on why the game – which, according to lead programmer Nimai Malle, was between 65-70% complete – never saw the light of day:
So this is a sad story, and I'm going to tell the truth, and if it comes back to bite me, so be it, because there's no love lost in how this actually went down. [The] team was doing decently well, we had started to really discover fun... we were hitting some bumps in the road on but otherwise, we were doing alright; we had shown [it] at TGS  and people were relatively excited about the progress of the game. It was looking amazing.
Naka came to visit with his team to tour our studio [and] look at our tools and engine; we had a lot of proprietary [and] really phenomenal tech – I would say still to this day, [we had] some stuff that I haven't seen replicated quite at the level we had. [Naka] didn't realize that the people on my team, a lot of them spoke fluent Japanese, including my lead engineer. [Naka] started speaking in Japanese assuming that no one would understand; [he] 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.
So I had a group of five engineers that now knew what was potentially happening to their baby. They were, outside of [NFL2K and NBA2K studio] Visual Concepts, the only people in North America working on a 128-bit gaming console, [so it was] pretty easy to go get another job – so they did. I had to go to Bernie [and tell him] I just lost my five lead engineers and I've got a proprietary engine; even if I hire, I've got healthy burn rate... we were expensive title for that time... it was a lot of money [and] it was impossible to justify. It would have taken me two months to hire, another two months to ramp up... so [I've got] four months of burn rate where pretty much nothing's happening.
Subotnick's only option at this stage, he says, was to approach Visual Concepts to see if it had any capacity to help out, as it was the only other North American studio with experience of the system. Visual Concepts was understandably busy preparing its own games for launch, and couldn't help – the final nail in the coffin of what was shaping up to be one of the Dreamcast's most promising first-party titles. Taking these facts into account, the project was canned – despite the fact that, according to Subotnick, there were big plans afoot, including a range of toys.
Playable builds of Geist Force do exist, but, according to Subotnick, they could barely be considered 'beta' versions and are very incomplete. He also explains that his disappointing experience with Geist Force was the catalyst for him leaving Sega; he would later join Microsoft and worked on the launch of both the original Xbox console and the Xbox 360. He's currently employed as Director of Desktop Gaming and Creator Segment and Products at Intel Corporation.
Naka, on the other hand, is back in the headlines after releasing his first 'self-made' game in 37 years. His last major studio project, Balan Wonderworld, was a critical and commercial disappointment that led to his departure from Square Enix.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Mon 20th December, 2021.
If true, that's pretty damning and disgusting. But there's always three sides to every story, one side, the other and the truth. So far we've only heard one. I'm sure there's nuggets of truth here but probably not AS bad as he makes out either.
@themightyant I can independently verify at least one element of this story - Naka does like talking trash in Japanese in front of people who he thinks don't understand Japanese. :I
Yuji Naka has certainly been revealed to be a bit....off, lately. Working with Americans in Sonic 2 and 3, the Sonic Xtreme tech takebacks, now this...
@Damo So does that mean Part of the story isn't even true? or parts of it was, you know.
@Damo Thank you! That is a d!ck move!
@Snatcher I have no doubt the story is true from Mark Subotnick's perspective. But i'm sure there were other factors and considerations from Yuji Naka and Sega's too. This is the way of the world.
@Snatcher I said I can verify that element of the story - which means it rings true with stuff I've been told by people in the industry who have interviewed him.
By now I thought it was quite clear to everyone that Naka is not the kindest person of industry.
Unfortunately this story looks very much like it's true.
@Xiovanni it is actually playable to a certain degree the cd image is out there I downloaded it out of curiosity but you can see it had the makings of a decent game
@Damo @themightyant Ok so its just one side of the story, Thanks!
Pretty poor from Naka but that was sadly Sega all over as Sega of Japan and America seemed more interested in fighting each other then helping the company. I seem to remember similar stories around Sonic Extreme as they weren't allowed to use the Sonic Team game engine.
It's a shame about this game but Sega already had Panzer Dragoon for that style of gameplay anyway but it would still have been good to have
This is why we never got CarFox. : (
@Haruki_NLI Yeah, it sure looks like this guy has too much ego for the good of his projects/teams/company
As you said he was already famous for making sure "his" tech would not be used by other teams, helping the Saturn to die quicker. Now (if that story is true) we learn that "stealing" tech from other teams sounded like normal for him. On top of being disrespectful in front of non japanese people.
Not a great soul...
@carlos82 Sadly we never got a Panzer Dragoon sequel on the Dreamcast. Such moves, driven by inflated ego are just a waste for everyone.
That's one of the saddest stories, I feel it for the poor engineers and I hope everything worked out for them. I always felt Naka was overrated. The structure and attitude of Sega as a business was abhorrent to the videogame industry & gamers. The dissolution of Sega a short time later is a harsh example of mismanagement and short sightedness that modern companies seem to repeat often.
@chiimaero sadly not, I like to think that in an alternative timeline the Dreamcast survives much longer and the likes of Panzer Dragoon Orta come to it instead of Xbox
Wow, what an ass. And now the guy is proud of making uninspired mobile games that I would not even dare to watch after making a monstruosity of a game recently. People aren't always rewarded of their efforts and some are in position they do not deserve sadly.
Oh dear. Sort of doesn't make me feel too bad about his current predicament.
It takes a certain combination of arrogance and cluelessness to force developers to stick to the "one button" controls in Balan Wonderworld.
Just because one-button gameplay works with 2D Sonic doesn't mean it will work in your 3D platformer with 80 "unique" powerups. ....and i can't believe that someone would ever think otherwise.
No new ideas but a cool narrative. Ahead of it's time. How awfully depressing. I personally thought Mr Huge Knac- er I mean Mr Yuji Naka was over rated. You could tell he borrowed heavily in his work. Still, SEGA fans desperately wanted a Miyamoto.
Talking smack about people right in front of them in a language you assume they don't understand is a vile habit. I've seen so many people do it, and it's always funny when they get called out on it.
NEVER assume no one else speaks your language, you will be surprised at some point and it just makes you look like a provincial bumpkin or worse.
I live in Wales, UK. See this often & enjoy replying in Welsh!
@Kayvoo That man was a God in the arcades
Yeah if he turned out to be a bell end I think he gets a pass
@Kayvoo Lol! No, he still gts banished...we just keep his games hehe.
Add this to the massive pile of stories about Sega being totally dysfunctional in the 1990s
@Kayvoo @GrailUK I was gonna say Yu Suzuki is a big part of what made Sega great
And I almost downloaded his mobile game yesterday to support him. ALMOST. Glad I didn't.
Oh yes, still play his games to this day and they still impress
@themightyant What could even be not AS bad though? Yuji’s secret intent that wasn’t to scrap this project for parts? That Sega of Japan didn’t have an anti-Western racist sentiment since at least Project Katana (Saturn) and these were all shrewd business decisions (that clearly didn’t pan out)?
Watched a documentary on Project Hammer and it kind of confirms the Japanese arrogance when dealing with Western devs is maybe not that uncommon, but also, these if these Western devs “can’t find the fun” fast enough in development, maybe it’s not as good as they think it was in hindsight.
That’s the only “other side” I can imagine is true: Yuji Naka was correct that the game was irredeemable trash. After seeing his career, I wouldn’t have listened to a word he had to say about game design.
It's SEGA during DC-era though, if Naka didn't want them it was probably for a good reason. They really didn't need Nintendo clones.
If there was something worth salvaging for the prime product of the DC then many would've done the same thing.
Speaking behind their backs is (as mentioned) just one side of the story, Naka seems like a humble guy from his social media, and has even contributed info for the retro Sonic scene.
If he wasn't smiling while saying he wanted them fired, he was just doing his job.
The upside to this is that it seems karma has been consistently dogpiling Naka.
With Sonic '06's development making him leave SEGA, creating a game studio only to leave it as well after producing one mediocre game, and joining Square Enix and quit once again after developing the trainwreck that was Balan Wonderworld.
Now he's just some total has-been who has retreated to making cheap, uninspired mobile games.
Sounds like Yuji Naka got his ego hurt by seeing more impressive tech than what his team was able to create and decided to abuse his position in Sega by taking over the tech and firing everyone involved.
If there was any sensible decision behind his "business" choice, he would have kept the engineers that actually made the tech, not fire them.
In the end his long years of constant failures are proof that he was just a hack all along and a sinister one at that.
@Spiders In a perfect world all, or most, games would be seen to completion. But it's not a perfect world. Choosing what games to keep funding, develop and publish is often related to other business decisions. It's hard but sometimes exec's have to make tough decisions.
Perhaps they wanted to fund another game and had to free up cash. Perhaps they felt this game interfered with another studios title or marketing. It reminds me of Phil Spencer saying that originally they were going to publish Psychonauts on the first Xbox but had to back out because they already has 2 platformers coming out at the same time (Kameo and I forget the other) so they let Double Fine go. (Interestingly they thought Kameo was going to be THE big launch hit and didn't expect Halo to blow up like it did) Thankfully Psychonauts got picked up by another publisher. It wasn't that the game was bad it was just a hard business decision. A LOT of games get cut short well before completion, usually we just don't hear about it.
Regardless Naka saying it in Japanese with the people in the room is a terrible thing to do. That's not how you treat people, not surprised Mark's still pissed.
…So are we not going to talk about how Subotnick sounds like Robotnik in this Sonic-related article?
@Damo Quite a different person to contrast Shigeru Miyamoto. The fathers of two iconic characters and now we see: “By the fruits, ye shall be known.”
@Meteoroid The article from yesterday contains a Tweet from Naka which says:
"This is the first time in my 37 years as a game creator that I, Yuji Naka, have made a game all by myself. I would appreciate it if you could play it and spread the word. Thank you very much."
That sounds like Naka. He was a genius programmer (Phantasy Star for the Master System was a work of art in programming terms), but he was a grade-A jerk who thought his dumps didn’t stink. He was a terrible team player at Sega. The Sonic Xtreme team built one of their early prototypes in a modified beta Nights engine. Naka saw it, threw one of the most legendary fits in Sega history, and had it completely stripped from them. Despite working for the same company, he wouldn’t allow them to use a modified Nights engine for their Sonic game.
Actions like that killed Sega’s console ambitions, because a bunch of people in Sega’s key positions around the company were egotistical maniacs. They were the complete opposite of Nintendo’s internal teams, who often worked together on projects and shared game engines and technical solutions to complex problems. Most of Sega’s teams worked completely alone and threw fits when people in other teams (especially if they were an American team) asked for assistance or if they could use some of their tech solutions.
"we actually had a very diverse cast; looking back, we were actually ahead of our time."
Probably the dumbest comment made in this quote. Honestly makes me feel like he's over selling this game as well and it probably wasn't that great.
Anyway good lesson here, not the first I've heard of it happening either.
Naka was a genius during the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. He pushed the Master System and the Genesis to their breaking points with his games.
But his central issue was his lack of foresight as the industry transitioned, his grade-A egotistical megalomania, and his outright hatred of his American counterparts at Sega. The dude was a dick. Plain and simple. And he refused to evolve as time went on.
It’s a shame how it all turned out.
@themightyant I think you have your Xbox time line mixed up there as Halo was already a hit before Rare was purchased by Microsoft and wasn't a launch game until the 360.
@chiimaero what's even crazier to think about, it both Orta and Halo were originally being developed for DC before moving to Xbox. What could of been.
@Zenszulu Nope. XBOX was meant to PUBLISH Psychonauts, this is well documented. I'm well aware they didn't own Rare yet but MSGS DID publish Kameo.
Naka seems to often have a bug up his ass. And quite frankly I will never get why Sega cared so much about keeping him happy over profit. Sonic Xtreme and denying use of the engine he had for Nights into dreams being a good example. Any half way decent management would have told him that they needed a game with their mascot and with no extra time they were getting his engine.
So on top of churning out the most mediocre games in the history of mainstream, he's a bad dude too. Shocking.
@TheRedComet Yeah he had a lot of talent in programming. But I think he and SEGA let him build himself up into a false Miyamoto-like game design figure...when he wasn't the game designer or director for the games you'd strongly associate with him. (Other than Balan Wonderworld lol)
He closer to Iwata coding genius. Except Iwata, before becoming Nintendo President, was using his skills to assist other teams e.g. Iwata stepping in to save Earthbound starting from scratch. Iwata creating compression tools for Pokemon Gold/Silver allowing Kanto to fit on the cartridge, porting Pokemon's Battle System into Pokemon Stadium while removing bugs in a week, helping debug Smash Bros Melee for launch. A lot of games that Iwata didn't design were better games (or saved like Earthbound) as a result of his assistance.
Naka was very protective of his work and pointlessly tried to compete against the rest of SEGA, instead of helping SEGA be more competitive with Nintendo or Sony.
It's not surprising that once Naka was put in the director's chair and given full creative control over Balan Wonderworld he'd sink because game design was never his speciality.
@themightyant I am aware of who published it when it eventually came out but I am referring to the part about Phil Spencer thinking Kameo would be the big launch hit when it turned out to be Halo. Just saying that the way it's worded makes it seem like they were launched at the same time which they weren't.
This is just a small sample of the bigger long standing issues that Sega of Japan and Sega of America had with each other.
The thing is, Sega was successful when following the American model and ideas, this didn't sit too well with Sega of Japan, who was unfortunately riddled with old xenophobic Japanese individuals.
The early years of Sega's success was down to the US ideas and directions, which probably angered the Japanese which is why they started making a brand new console with very limited input from the US teams (Sega Saturn)... which ironically was a failure in every region other than Japan and was the catalyst to why they ultimately failed.
@Gamer_Zeus And to add to your comment, it was a group of Americans who founded the company that would become Sega.
Although, I'd argue that Sega USA didn't help matters with shoddy marketing for the Saturn, what with the surprise release announcement catching retailers off-guard.
Won’t somebody please think of the other side of the story?
@Zenszulu Apologies you are right. Clearly getting old and getting two stories mixed up.
It's true Psychonauts was dropped by MS as publisher because they had too many platformers at the time and limited bandwidth.
But i've mixed up Kameo and Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee for Xbox launch. That was the game that MS expected to be the HUGE title on launch, as Oddworld was a massive hit at the time and they had exclusivity. History had other ideas and Halo took the prize.
I think both of these nuggets were in Podcast Unlocked 201 but it may have been another look back at Xbox's history. I've read them elsewhere before.
That's messed up
And there’s another strike for yuji naka. Dang.
That wasn’t the US team’s decision. Kalinske was aiming for a September launch when they would have around 12 to 14 launch titles ready.
His decision was overruled by Hayao Nakayama, SOJ CEO. Nakayama wanted to beat Sony to market by four months. Kalinske tried to talk sense in Nakayama and he had high hopes he could change his mind since Nakayama had always sided with Kalinske when the other SOJ upper officers formed coalitions to try and overrule Kalinske. Other members of SOA didn’t have that much faith anymore and started jumping ship to Sony or getting out of the hardware business entirely.
But this time he didn’t change his mind and go with Tom’s plans. He had made up his mind and he put his foot down. Kalinske was given two choices; launch early or resign. He chose to bend to Nakayama’s knee because he still had hope that the SOA team could turn things around after the early launch. But by that point the exodus of talent out of SOA had become an avalanche. He lost the team that built the Genesis to its success almost to a man and woman.
The instant i saw that video on the part were that "arwing" was locking on to enemies and shooting then missiles-like thingies, that immediately looked just like the Sky Chase sub-game from Sonic Adventure 1. So in the end Naka did do exactly what he said he would do in regards of stealing the tech for Sonic, what a scumbag.
Like another poster said earlier, Naka was never a good game designer. Other members of his team specialized at that role.
His genius and expertise was in programming, especially in assembly languages. The man was a whiz kid with the Zilog Z80 and the Motorola 68000, along with their support chips. The titles he programmed were usually titans in the 8bit and 16bit industry. Especially his physics solutions. That is where he shined. Sonic’s momentum based physics were a game changer in 1991.
People credit him with Sonic, but he actually didn’t have that much to do with the character’s design, artwork, or backstory. Naka’s contribution to the character was designing the engine that powered the Hedgehog’s game. Sonic played like nothing else on the market, thanks primarily to its unique physics system.
Well that’s too bad his management style leaves a lot to be desired. Too much of that in a business and things can go south, which they did for Sega..
@Chibi_Manny That's an interesting observation, but "stealing" the tech was never the abhorrent part of the story - as other commenters have pointed out, sharing and building on each other's tech within a company is actually healthy. Naka's scumbag move was in plotting (and stupidly in front of them) to string an entire team doing good work along before &#$%canning them all and then stealing their tech.
Still, insofar as it provides indirect confirmation of the story, a good catch on your part though.
@themightyant it's ok I had to pause for a moment and work out the time frame myself. Microsoft also had Blinx which was being pushed as a big platformer by them at the time. But as you said it happens quite often that games get dropped by publishers often for reasons that the developers or public are unaware of. I get some developers can hold grudges over these things as they aren't always told the reasons.
Although some of this also seems to be claiming the tech was so impressive that some aspects haven't been matched today so his side seems to me more stroking his own ego and if it was that impressive why did Sega never use it or infact him and the others not use something similar in all this time?
While Yuji Naka probably isn't the most pleasant person Sega probably had their reasons as to why it was cancelled that we will never fully know.
Wow, that's some story. Not much room for doubt really. That sounds like Naka, and hindsight shows us Naka's planning is horrible. The only unknown is what got things to the point that Naka was visiting a studio that was knee deep on what was to be a high profile launch title for what sounds like the sole purpose of closing it? Sounds like he was there simply to look in order to gut it for parts....but what led to that moment to begin with? Sounds like the game was progressing far along at that point.
One can only assume that means the bottom really was falling out from Sega well before the DC even launched and they were savaging for parts with no budget.
@TheRedComet If this story is true, yeah, Yuji Naka was stuck in the 90s and didn't imagine how powerful globalization had become. Japan isn't at the forefront of game making anymore; it's all about working with other developers in other countries to come up with new ideas in story, gameplay, and technology.
Yuji Naka seems to only care about outdated gameplay concepts that were found in Balan Wonderworld and didn't seem to be open to implementing new ideas from the modern era. I didn't understand the hate behind Yuji Naka until I found out about Balan Wonderworld's troubled development and this story. Although we haven't heard Yuji Naka's side of the story, we won't ever know the 100% truth from both sides.
As a big Dreamcast fan….this game would have been a nice entry but at the time it would have been up against wing commander 3 and Star Fox 64.
I’d take WC3 over the other two anyday.
Removed - inappropriate language
dont really get how some of you can judge a game from seeing only rough gameplay of a game that was less than half finished... you have no idea if it will have been good or not, as most games "look mediocre" when they're half-naked and not finished
He’s always been a grade A jerk.
A really good example is Sonic 3’s development.
Sonic 2 had been made in California at the Sega Technical Institute, or STI. The studio had been founded as one of the earliest “cross cultural” studios in the video game landscape. It was headed by the famed Mark Cerny, same man who ended up designing the PS4 and PS5 hardware. The idea was to take Sega’s best developers from Japan, the US, and Europe and combine them into a “Super Team” with their unique design philosophies melding into one to create great unique games.
Sonic 2 was the only title designed under Cerny and Kalinske’s original goals for the studio, with all members of the studio working on the game. After Sonic 2 was finished, Naka decided that the game wasn’t good enough because it had too many Western developers in the pipeline. He demanded that the sequel for Sonic be touched only by the Japanese members. If they didn’t concede to his demands, he threatened he would go back to Japan and possibly leave Sega.
In what would become a recurring situation for Sega in regards to his demands, they basically gave him everything he wanted. The Japanese members were given their own exclusive wing that required key card access. The American developers at STI (outside of the sound crew, who were mostly American) were forbidden from accessing the game unless Naka gave permission. Any ideas they had were thrown in the trash by Naka and he barely spoke with any of them during Sonic 3’s two year development. He basically took over the studio. I don’t think Cerny has ever stated why he left STI, but I feel like Naka’s arrogance had to have played a role.
In the end, STI became two studios. The american team would develop Sonic Spinball and later on Comix Zone. The Japanese team did Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles. After that, Naka and his team packed their bags and headed back to Japan where they rejoined (and subsequently took over in what was basically a coup de tat) Sonic Team, which had developed Sonic CD without Naka. Then they started working on Nights, which was going to be his magnum opus.
The dream of a cross cultural studio died with Sonic 3’s early development. And that was mostly Naka’s fault.
Sega of Japan was Tetsuo and and Sega of America was Kaneda. When the hierarchy changed from Americans doing business in Japan to the Japanese doing business in America, we get to the point of Akira where Tetsuo all of a sudden has all of this power. Meanwhile, Kaneda hires Tom Kalinski and brings out Sega of Japans jealousy and animosity while damaging it’s fragile ego. Tetsuo never understood it was about leadership skills and not power. Eventually, animosity turns to rage and Sega of Japan turns into an amoeba, destroying the whole company. A black hole comes around and sucks all of sega up and starts it from scratch as a software and arcade company.
Sounds like he made the right call. Nintendo ruined the Star Fox series from the GC* on and Sega would have only made things worse.
*Except for Star Fox Command
@TheRedComet The worshipping of game makers like that has always bugged me. Most of the time an iconic game was the work of multiple people. There might be the ringer who brought it all together to the finish line. However projects like these aren't the almighty work of a person.
The important thing is that he didn't kill Pen Pen TriIcelon, which I'm sure everyone ever will agree was easily the best Dreamcast launch title. Seriously, though, I absolutely love that game for some reason.
Are people actually defending Naka? At this point it’s hardly industry secret that Sega of Japan and Yuji Naka were incredibly xenophobic and would rather shoot them selves in the foot that see themselves “upstaged” by Sega of America, who they deliberately Sabotaged constantly to make themselves look superior.
Not surprising at all consider Naka's gross history. He also forbid the Sonic X-treme team from using the Nights engine for no damn reason. Naka is one of the industry's most over rated figures.
I know this is Nintendo Life so everything has to be a (insert Nintendo IP) clone. But wouldn't it be more fair to say this was a Panzer Dragoon inspired game rather than a Star Fox clone?
The style reminds a lot of the show REBOOT back in the day. If it had come out it could have at least grab the attention of gamers. If I was SEGA, and if I see the games becomes popular, I could make a Saturday morning cartoon show about it that could lead to toys sales, which means more money to invest in R&D to fight of Nintendo & Sony. Instead of fighting amongst ourself. Dang it SEGA
Just further proof of what I have said before here: Sega's myopic focus on Sonic has come at the direct detriment of almost all of their other IPs. It's frankly disgusting that Naka would cannibalize a project made with genuine passion by a dev team for his pet mascot with the intent to dump all of them as a reward for their efforts. I know Sonic is still hugely popular, but it has come at an immense cost for Sega's other franchises and their fans. I won't lie; I have come to HATE the character simply because of what he represents for those of us who would love to see so many of those iconic IPs return. He's in the way, full stop. And as for Sega themselves, their upper management mis-ran the company from their onetime perch atop the videogame industry and out of console-making to what it is now: a shell of its former self that only wants to pump out the likes of Sonic and Yakuza.
Sega has needed a new guard at the helm for decades. Until it happens, they'll always be has-beens running a tired, has-been mascot out again and again as they try desperately to avoid going under for good.
Miyamoto would never act like that.
Sega was bleeding money at the time so of course they gotta let those guys go, Yuji Naka had no say in it, he's just the messenger. It's Sega who made the decision, even Bernie Stolar was fired by Sega way before the Dreamcast launch. Yes Yuji Naka may sound like a jerk boss but he's not the head honcho that does all the firing. Also that game doesn't seem all that interesting anyways if all it was is just a Sega version of Star Fox.
@HalBailman You mean Rare ruin Star Fox, one of the reason why Nintendo end up selling them to Microsoft and replacing them with Monolith Soft.
@TheFox Yeah but there's no dragoon in the game and Star Fox came out first with that style.
@AtlanteanMan It's obvious Sega never liked anything their American branch made which is the reason why they focus more on their Japanese IPs like Sonic and Virtua Fighter and less on their western ones such as Eternal Champions and Ristar.
@Specter_of-the_OLED I think Panzer Dragoon and Star Fox 64 (which came later) are pretty comparable, but the Star Fox on SNES has you pretty much flying in a straight line without the twists and turns of the later games. If we count that, then we also have to count Space Harrier, which goes way back.
@Specter_of-the_OLED But it wasn't limited to just their North American branch, or even within their own company. Team Camelot, who were responsible for the Shining Force games, left Sega after meddling from upper management, from my understanding (and only Scenario 1 or 3 huge, interlocking Scenarios was ever localized for the Western market). Many of their very best titles, especially RPGs such as Dragon Force, Magic Knight RayEarth, and Albert Odyssey, had to be localized by Working Designs for Western gamers to be able to experience them, yet Sega treated them with such disdain (the final straw was apparently being relegated to an out-of-the-way booth at CES) that Victor Ireland abandoned Saturn support in favor of Sony's Playstation. Sega even forgot to include any copy protection for the Dreamcast, which helped doom that console right out of the gate. Just reading the list of screw-ups and self-inflicted damage Sega's higher-ups did to their own brand over the course of a relatively short span of time should be recommended reading for what NOT to do as a company. And a lot of it apparently had to do with how they treated people, both within and without.
@AtlanteanMan It wasn't that Sega forgot to add copy protection, it's more like that one scene from the Simpsons where Mr Burns goes though a whole labyrinth of security, only to have a broken spring door in the back.
@Specter_of-the_OLED Nintendo oversee them, right? There's also the Wii U Star Fox that I'd happily call a disaster. While I'm on a rant, they ruined F-Zero by allowing Sega to do GX on GC. Too many crap tracks either in flow or with gimmicks.
@HalBailman Sega or the studio own by Sega actually did a good job with F-Zero GX/AX though, Nintendo never made a console F-Zero game ever again due to its low sales though. Why continue to make games that doesn't sell when they could just continue making more Mario Kart right? Star Fox Zero was good, it just had bad controls, if they ported that game to Switch with new levels and a better control scheme plus bundle it with Star Fox Guard and Star Fox 2 then I think it would do gangbuster sale, they could call it Star Fox Zero Guard Deluxe.
@AtlanteanMan During the uprising of the 32-Bit/64-Bit era, Camelot was no longer a second party studio to Sega. They branch out as a freelance studio which is why they are no longer called Sonic Software Planning and change their name to Camelot Software Planning. This is also why they are able to work with Sony and Nintendo on games like Beyond the Beyond, Hotshot Golf 1 & 2, Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, and Golden Sun. They did finish all three scenario games for Shining Force III but only the first one made it to NA as by the time the second two were finished, Sega already moved on to the Dreamcast. Because they are no longer affiliated with Sega by that point, they had no say in bringing the other two Shining Force III scenario games to the west.
@HalBailman worst thing I've read all day, GX is the best F-Zero game and im sure others will agree with me there
@SuperZeldaFun Naka was a man of questionable talent pretty much after Sonic Adventure 2 in 2001. Almost nothing he created after that point rose above the level of mediocre.
@whateverdude Here's the new worst thing you've heard all day and probably all year. I was too kind with GX. It was mostly a disaster. F-Zero is about flow and sustained speed. Sega ruined this on too many tracks with gimmicks and poor design. X was the purest and best F-Zero and should be remade with the best of GX and 16 bit tracks. All 4 player too.
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