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Naka in 2015
|Born||September 17, 1965|
Hirakata, Osaka, Japan
|Occupation||Game designer, producer, programmer|
|Sonic the Hedgehog series|
Yuji Naka (中 裕司 Naka Yūji , born September 17, 1965) is a Japanese video game programmer, designer, and producer. He is best known as the former head of Sonic Team, where he was the lead programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog series of games on the Sega Genesis. In 2006, he created Prope, an independent game company. In January 2018, he joined Square Enix.
Naka learned how to program by copying and debugging video game code printed in magazines. The experience made him want to study assemblers and practice writing code during his school classes. After graduating high school, Naka decided to skip university and stay in his home town.
Around 1983, Naka saw that Sega was looking for programming assistants. He decided to apply. After a short interview, he started working for Sega in April 1984. His first task was designing maps and checking floppy disks for a game called Road Runner for the SF-7000. Naka can't remember if the game was ever released. His first major project was a game called Girl's Garden. He and Hiroshi Kawaguchi created it together as part of their training process.
- Szczepaniak, John. "Before They Were Famouos". Retro Gamer (Imagine Publishing) (35): 74.
- Horowitz, Ken (22 June 2005). "Sega Stars: Yuji Naka". http://www.sega-16.com/2005/06/sega-stars-yuji-naka/. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "The Making of OutRun". NowGamer. 29 April 2016. http://www.nowgamer.com/the-making-of-outrun/. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- "名作アルバム - 『ガールズガーデン』" (in ja). https://sega.jp/fb/album/01_gg/. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
- Naka, Yuji. "Yuji Naka / 中 裕司 on Twitter: "[iPhone PROPE Ltd.started to distribute the game "Legend of Coin" for iOS & Android at 12 December,2017. An epic story like none ever seen before in a coin game.Over 200 monsters to train and summon!""]. https://twitter.com/nakayuji/status/940632805439971328. Retrieved 12 December 2017.