Despite being involved in a lawsuit over its development, and negative reviews, Square Enix says it recommends Balan Wonderworld “with confidence”.
The game was brought up in a Q&A session during a company earnings briefing, during which an investor asked about ex-director Yuji Naka’s lawsuit against the company, seemingly brought after his dismissal from the project.
Square Enix confirmed that Naka had a lawsuit case with the company but wouldn’t give any further details about it. However, according to Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki, Square Enix also commented on Balan Wonderworld itself, saying, “it is a game that we recommend with confidence.”
Square Enix confirmed it had lawsuit case with Yuji Naka but declined to comment further. As for Balan Wonderworld, “it is a game that we recommend with confidence.” (from Q&A session during earnings briefing)
— Takashi Mochizuki (@6d6f636869) May 13, 2022
Balan Wonderworld hasn’t had the best time in the spotlight. Naka left Square Enix after the game was released last year and has since become an independent developer. Recently, Naka opened up about his time at Square Enix developing the game. He said that he had an internal conflict with co-developer Arzest and felt like Balan Wonderworld was submitted in an unfinished state. Furthermore, Naka called out the company, saying, “I think Square Enix is no good.”
In IGN’s Balan Wonderworld review, we said, “It’s a mess of undercooked concepts and clunky mechanics that slow it to a crawl, and it seems to take inspiration from better games without properly recapturing what actually makes them fun.” In that context, Square Enix’s recommendation feels a little off-base.
In other Square Enix news, the company recently sold off its western studios to Embracer Group in order to fund future projects, such as cloud services, AI, and most notably, blockchain initiatives, the last of which Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has expressed an interest in pursuing.
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey