Cult classic game Nights Into Dreams turns 26 this year and Producer Yuji Naka has chosen to mark the occasion with a picture of the team from back when the game was announced. At a glance, this is a fairly standard way to mark such an occasion, but one person in the lower-left corner of the photograph – likely Director Naoto Ohshima – has been drawn over using what seems to be a Paint brush or similar tool.
It's unclear why Ohshima was removed from the photo – Naka didn't bring it up in his tweet – but it could all be tied to a recent fallout between the two from the time they worked on ill-fated action-platformer Balan Wonderworld.
Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima had previously worked together on games like Sonic the Hedgehog – which they co-created – and Burning Rangers, but Balan Wonderworld could have soured the relationship between the two.
Earlier in April, Naka revealed that he had been removed from his role as director of Balan Wonderworld "about half a year before release," claiming that the game was released in an unfinished state.
According to him, developer Arzest Corporation, who also contributed to the project, was part of the reason for the game's poor release state and bad reception.
Ohshima was both vice-president of the company and worked as a character designer on the project, Naka claiming that he "told producer [Noriyoshi] Fujimoto that the relationship with Arzest was ruined due to comments I made wanting to improve the game in the face of Arzest submitting the game without fixing bugs."
It's unclear if this was the final nail in the coffin or if Naka's decision to remove Ohshima from the photograph above had a different reason behind it.
ResetEra commenters tend to agree that Balan Wonderworld might have played a role in this, but regardless if that's the case or not, this is a rather unfortunate way to celebrate a classic title's anniversary.
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