Yuji Naka joins Square-Enix

Yuji Naka joins Square-Enix

by January 22, 2018

But what of PROPE?

It was over 11 years ago that Yuji Naka announced his resignation from his post as President of Sonic Team at Sega to form his own independent game development studio PROPE. Since then, the company has seen its fair share of ups and downs, from the saga of Rodea the Sky Soldier to the quirky Let’s Tap: Future Tapping Game, and dozens of tiny mobile games in between.

Naka-san has been on record multiple times talking about PROPE embodying his desire go back to basics and get his hands dirty in game development again after spending so many years in upper management roles at Sega. But there’s also no denying that, while PROPE never seemed to be in trouble financially, they never seemed to have outrageous success, either.

Which makes today’s announcement interesting on multiple levels: Yuji Naka has declared he has now joined Square-Enix.

Not only is Square-Enix the opposite of a small-time indie studio, it also begs the question: what’s going to happen to PROPE? Yuji Naka also tweeted a very similar message in his native language of Japanese, but it offers no hints:

A machine translation of the tweet leaves us with this following text, which isn’t too different from Naka-san’s official English tweet:

【Report】 I joined Square Enix in January. Although the environment will change, I will engage in game development as before. I am thrilled to be able to do a new challenge at Square which handles a wide range of game genres. We will aim for fun game development, so please look forward to it.

Despite dozens of tweets asking for clarification on the status of PROPE, Yuji Naka has not yet answered any of them. The mention of changing “environments” would indeed suggest he is leaving PROPE to go work at Square-Enix, as one might expect. But if that’s the case, will the company continue without him? Or is this the end of PROPE? Naka-san’s twitter profile still links to Prope.jp, which reveals the company hasn’t posted an update in almost a year.

The only update I can actually find regarding the status of PROPE is the twitter account @kizu_mon, which appears to be for some kind of Japan-only monster collecting game (roughly translated, the game’s title seems to be something like “Me and My Kizuna Monster”). A recent tweet made by @kizu_mon on December 27th, 2017, says:

Machine translated:

Thank you very much for using “Me and My Kizuna Monster”. With respect to this application, we have officially launched the service from 2016, I’m truly frustrated that we will terminate the service at 14:00 on Thursday, January 25, 2018. Please see in-app announcement for details.

This app, which was apparently the last source of frequent updates from PROPE, permanently shuts down three days from the publishing of this article.

With Yuji Naka apparently moving on to Square-Enix, it seems this is where PROPE may be ending. We wish the best of luck to all involved.