Yuji Naka

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When Yuji Naka (also known as YU2) 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. (Yuji was also not alone with this inspiration. Many big names in the gaming industry have shared this - among many others Kenji Eno, creator of "D".)

Anyway, Yuji Naka made himself known at a game convention and had to move from Osaka to Tokyo. Being a large fan of Namco, he aimed to work for them after he graduated from college. However, Namco only accepted work from university graduates - assuming that anyone who had not done at least that would not be near good enough for them. Yuji Naka was devastated, but he did not want to go to university, and so made his entrace into the gaming industry through "Service Games".

At the beginning of his career he mainly worked on projects for the SG-1000 Mark III, but his massive breathrough wasn't far off. By the time 1990 hit the calendars, Naka became a leading programmer for "Sonic Team" who would be the team to be in control of the projects featuring Sega's mascot.

After the completion of Sonic 2, he became the producer. Today he is the president of Sonic Team.

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):