CVG Interview with Yuji Naka

Interview Data:

  • Interview Date: 05 March 2002
  • Interview Topics: Sonic, Gamecube, Sonic Adventure 3
  • Interview Source: CVG external.png


The legendary Sonic creator speaks exclusively to us about his new-found friendship with Nintendo after years of fierce competition

15:33 For years they were the bitterest of rivals; the battle between SNES and Mega Drive was one of the most memorable in gaming history, a perpetual struggle of one-upmanship, with each company hurling its most powerful franchises at the other. This was Mario versus Sonic; this was Naka-san versus Miyamoto-san; this was war. And then Sega dramatically quit the hardware market to become an independent third-party developer: Sonic on a Nintendo console - once considered the stuff of fantasy - was now a reality.

We were recently fortunate enough to catch up with Naka-san, and spoke with him briefly about his involvement with the old enemy. When asked how Sonic arrived on GameCube, Naka-san replied:

"Because Sonic absolutely wanted to run on Nintendo hardware! For myself, too, even though I have been fighting with Nintendo for 18 years, I have been feeling that I definitely wanted to develop something on Nintendo hardware at least one time."

Clearly impressed with the console, Naka commentated:

"It is hardware that I believe has a wide-ranged spread of users. Also, as it maintains high performance, it has a stable system as well, I guess."

But that's not to say the lovable hedgehog has set up home exclusively on Nintendo's platforms, and with regard to the possibility of Sonic on other formats, Naka said:

"I guess there is enough of a possibility. As you know, Sega has now taken a multiplatform strategy, so there is a possibility that we'll see Sonic on other hardware than GameCube."

Naka-san then went on to give his views on the future of Sonic. As for a completely original Sonic title on GameCube, Naka said: "As we are always trying something new, of course there is such possibility." Specifically referring to Sonic Adventure 3 he added: "Sonic Team is talking this matter over at the moment. Wait for what will come next and look forward to it, giving full play to your imagination."

Finally, asked about his general feelings towards Sonic, Naka-san said:

"Sonic had his 10th anniversary last year. Sonic, to me, is something like: "Just because I like it, I develop it," but I very much thank all you gamers for the fact that I could do so many things thus far!" And where does he see Sonic in another ten years? "I cannot imagine what will become of him, for Sonic what I do just because I like it. Try asking Sonic himself!"

by Johnny Minkley


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