Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Yuji Naka killed “Dreamcast Star Fox,” says former Sega producer

Image: Now

Yuji Naka was responsible for canceling one of the most promising monopolies of the Sega Dreamcast, which was revealed.

This claim comes from Marks Botonic, who worked as a producer at Sega of America during this period and is talking about his career. Retro Hour Podcast..

The game in question Spirit Force, Star foxA style on-rail shooter that was first exhibited at E3 in 1998, before Dreamcast was released in Japan. The game was intended to be a launch title for North America and was thought to have been canceled prior to Subotnick’s recent announcement due to lack of confidence in the game, late deadlines, and disagreements within the development team. .. According to Subotnick, this is not the big picture.

Subotnick played a PR-led role during the Saturn era after starting his career at Sega as a tester in the early 90’s. By the time Dreamcast came out, he was offered the opportunity to lead a team working on key exclusives.

We were already doing that before the architecture settled … we got a green light to make a game called Geist Force … it’s actually an E3 shooter and Bernie (Stolar, President of SoA) showed that for the Dreamcast at E3 … we were going to be the launch title.Was so Star fox Clone … I don’t say I had a great idea [but] We had a very different cool story, and we actually had a very diverse cast. In retrospect, we were actually ahead of the curve.

Next, Subotnick reveals the reason for the game.This is according to the lead programmer Nimaimaru, 65-70% complete – never saw the light of day:

So this is a sad story, and I’m going to tell the truth, and if it comes back to bite me, yes, because there’s no love lost in how this actually went down. [The] The team was doing well and we really started to discover fun … we were hitting some bumps on the road, otherwise we were fine.We showed [it] At TGS [1998] And people were relatively excited about the progress of the game. It was great.

Mr. Naka came to visit the studio with the team [and] Take a look at our tools and engines.There was a lot of proprietary [and] Really amazing technology-I’ll still say to this day, [we had] Some things I haven’t seen have been pretty much duplicated at the level we had. [Naka] People on my team were unaware that many people, including my chief engineer, spoke fluent Japanese. [Naka] I started speaking in Japanese because I thought no one could understand it. [he] We started talking about which parts of our technology we would adopt for Sonic, basically as soon as we shipped, fired everyone except one of the engineers who knew the system and involved him in Sonic’s team. I did. My team heard it all. , So you can imagine how they felt. Naka was quite powerful in Sega at that time.

So I had a group of 5 engineers who knew what was happening to their babies.They were outside [NFL2K and NBA2K studio] Visual Concepts, the only people working on 128-bit consoles in North America, [so it was] Getting another job is very easy – I did.I had to go to Bernie [and tell him] I lost 5 chief engineers and got my own engine.Even if you hire it, it has a healthy burning rate … It was a high-priced title at the time … It was a lot of money. [and] It was impossible to justify. It took me two months to hire and another two months to get up … [I’ve got] Burning rate for 4 months with almost nothing happening.

Subotnick’s only option at this stage was to approach Visual Concepts and see if he was capable of helping him as he was the only other North American studio with system experience. Visual Concepts, of course, was busy preparing their own games for launch and couldn’t help. The last nail in the casket, which is becoming one of Dreamcast’s most promising first-party titles. With these facts in mind, the project was canned – despite the fact that, according to Subotnick, a big plan involving various toys was underway.

There are playable builds of Geist ForceHowever, according to Subotnick, they are rarely considered “beta” versions and are very incomplete. He also explains that his disappointing experience at Geist Force prompted him to leave Sega. He later joined Microsoft to work on the launch of both the original Xbox console and the Xbox 360. Director of Desktop Games and Creator Segments and Products At Intel Corporation.

Meanwhile, Naka became a hot topic again after releasing his first “self-made” game in 37 years.