Yuji Naka

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Yuji Naka, also known as YU2, is a video game designer, programmer, the former head of Sonic Team, and currently the head of the video game development company, Prope.


When Yuji Naka was 17 years old, he decided that he wanted to program video games. He owed this fascination to Ryuichi Sakamotos "Yellow Magic Orchestra" program, which allowed the composition of music on your computer.

Being a large fan of Namco, Yuji Naka aimed to work for them after he graduated from college. However, Namco only accepted work from university graduates, and thus Yuji Naka would not be eligible as he did not want to go to university.

He did however score a job at Sega as a programming assistant. His first release was a game for the SG-1000 Mark III called Girl's Garden, but his massive breathrough wasn't far off. In 1990 Yuji Naka, along with Naoto Oshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara began work on the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Naka became a leading programmer for the newly founded "Sonic Team" which would be the team in control of most projects featuring Sega's mascot. After the completion of Sonic 2, he became the producer of Sonic Team.

On March 16, 2006 it was announced that Naka would be creating his own game studio, independant of Sega. Naka left Sega to set up this studio, called Prope, but has since come back as a consultant for various Sega Titles, including Sonic the Hedgehog titles.

Production History


Being the producer of most of Sonic's games has earned Yuji Naka the rights to many interviews with those in the gaming industry. Some of those interviews may be found below (courtesy of Sonic World):