Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Balan Wonderworld Physical Copies Reportedly Discontinued


Remember Balan Wonderworld? No? Well you're not alone. Released back in 2021 by Square Enix, it was developed by ex-Sonic fathers Yuji Naka and Naoto Oshima. It was going to be a love letter for the fans of games such as Sonic & NIGHTS Into Dreams. Well this game felt more like a NIGHTmare into Dreams more than anything, because problems arose from behind the scenes at Square Enix and with Yuji Naka. Naka was unsatisfied about the current position of the game and ended up being kicked off the development team half way through before the game's release. Sadly despite 2 original Sonic legends (er, eventually one) being involved in the process for this game it wasn't enough for this game to succeed. Upon release the game received mostly negative reviews from critics and players alike, and it did not sell well globally at all. 

Now thanks to SOAH City, the true Sonic News Leader, apparently Balan Wonderworld has been discontinued from gaming stores. Square Enix have decided to cease future productions of this game which may end up being a collector's item one day. Don't worry about me, I have 4 copies of this game on PS5 for some reason. Retrokaiser sent me a bunch in the mail as a joke because you can get them for like 5 bucks. Actually, Square Enix ceasing ties with Balan makes perfect sense because of the recent arrest of Yuji Naka for insider trading, which is a very serious crime in Japan. We haven't heard from him in a few months so it looks like he's going to be locked up for some time. 

It's a shame Balan Wonderworld didn't perform well. It had hopes of being good but even problems started to appear during the game's tech demo, with fans struggling to get it to load or even play. A 'day 1' patch was released upon launch but wasn't enough to save it from going completely downhill.

When I played Balan Wonderworld I felt it was a hugely confusing ordeal but I enjoyed the music to it. Maybe i'll play this game again when it becomes very much sought after. While the game is still available to purchase digitally, considering it's poor reception and underperforming sales, I won't be surprised if it goes off the digital console markets too in the near future. 

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