Do you remember, waaay back when we held a Kickstarter campaign to make Summer of Sonic 2016 happen (it feels like so long ago), we had a third stretch goal that we didn’t quite make?


Summer of Sonic ended up raising £31,625. Close, but no cigar… BUT, that wasn’t the end of the story. The team behind this year’s show clubbed together post-campaign to plump up the extra cash needed to secure a very special guest, who we are extremely proud to announce to you today.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the return of former Sonic Team head and original programmer of Sonic the Hedgehog, Yuji Naka, to Summer of Sonic!


Naka-san previously attended Summer of Sonic 2011, to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 20th Anniversary – and now he’s returning to see the blue blur into his 25th. For many fans, Naka-san is a hero who programmed some of their favourite video games as a child; even during the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast era, the developer was behind some of the most iconic non-Sonic games of the time, including NiGHTS into Dreams and Phantasy Star Online.

Today, Naka-san leads his own independent studio called Prope, but still loves the hedgehog he helped create.

This announcement completes our headline guest roster, which includes legendary Sonic Team head and current Sonic producer, Takashi Iizuka! During the day, the two superstars will be available to meet and greet at the signing desks, and taking part in a special Q&A on the main stage where we discuss Sonic’s past, present and future.

Do You Have a Question for Iizuka-san and Naka-san?

We are accepting fan questions for the Iizuka-san and Naka-san Q&A panel that will take place live on stage. If you have a question, please post it as a comment to this post. While we can’t ask every question, we will do our best to fire the most interesting ones to Naka-san and Iizuka-san.

This is a rare opportunity to get your most burning question about Sonic answered by the two men behind Sonic’s past and future, so make sure you don’t miss your chance!

49 thoughts on “GUEST ANNOUNCEMENT: Yuji Naka”

  1. Any chances for a short autograph session with Naka-san? I have a very special cartridge that needs to be signed 🙂

    1. First of all thank you both. Specially for Naka-san who created not just an icon of the games but a hero. Do you guys have a preference of sonic’s transformation, which one and why?
      It seems that sonic had divided into a new kind of gameplay and the classic one. Do you think Sega should keep working in both, the classic with Naka-san and new one with Iizuka-san? And also the mix and variation in mobile games?

  2. Dear Naka-san and Iizuka-san, one of my favourite Sonic Team games was Burning Rangers, which was also very underrated. Do you have any positive memories making that game and do you think that the game would ever get remastered for those who may have never had the opportunity to play it in 1998? Many thanks 🙂

  3. Here is a question for Takashi Iizuka (Izuka-San) : After the gorgeous reception of Sonic Mania from fans, is there a possibilty to make more Sonic 16-Bit Stylized games in the future? And are you supporting the idea of porting the game to other consoles like the Nintendo 3DS? Thanks.

  4. Did Michael Jackson and his team really compose majority of the Soundtrack to Sonic 3? Will there ever be a chance we could hear the Demo’s him and his team orginally created?

  5. For Naka: What do think about Sonic Mania?
    For Iizuka: Will you give new details on Project 2017, even give the official name and first pieces of gameplay?

  6. Here is a question for Naka-san – Have you seen or played Sonic Mania, and if so, what are your thoughts on the game from what you have seen or played thus far?

  7. For Naka: Besides Sonic what’s your favourite Sonic character and worst sonic character?
    For Iizuka: Is there a possibility that we could get a PC port of Sonic Colours and Sonic Unleashed?

  8. Naka-san: How do you feel about fans re-creating the core programming you done years ago’s for today’s tech like Sonic Mania.

    Iizuka-san: What you felted about the gaming community making fun of Sonic Team and when do you think its gone abit to far ?

  9. I’ve got one :

    Hello, Iizuka San ! I’ve got a question : in Unleashed days, a guy named Wentos (who has been revealed to be multiple persons this year, some from SEGA) said that Sonic Adventure 2 was the lowest budget Sonic title (hence the partnership with Soap for the game). Since his/her talk is now challenged, can you confirm or infirm that Sonic Adventure 2 had a low budget ?

  10. My question is for the both of them! Why did you have the addition of an extra emerald making it to 7 chaos emeralds in Sonic 2 comparing to having 6 emeralds in Sonic 1?

  11. For Iizuka: in Sonic 2017 will have to Jun Senoue as a composer music? and 40 crush main theme song?
    for Naka: do you think about Sonic Mania and Sonic 2017 ?

  12. For Naka: What other SEGA ips besides NiGHTS and Sonic the hedgehog you have done?
    For Iizuka: You think we’ll see more Sonic games and other sega games in steam for future times?

  13. To Naka: Are there any plans for another Rodea the Sky Soldier game? The original Wii version is a gem

  14. To Naka-San, if it were up to you (and not SEGA), would you greenlight a new NiGHTS game for current gen consoles?

  15. For characters that have not appeared in the modern games, (like Tails Doll, Metal Knuckles, Nack The Weasel/Fang The Sniper, Honey The Cat, etc) what are they doing now ? (not involving the Archie comics) How come they were dropped?

  16. For Takashi Iizuka & Yuji Naka:

    1. Over the past decade or so, a lot of fans, critics & journalists have been very skeptical or cynical towards the Sonic franchise especially in regards to certain games that were released in that time period.
    What are your thoughts on this and are you glad to see that there are still fans that remain hopeful for the franchise despite all the stumbles the franchise has had?

    2. Was Sonic Mania made in response to fan demand and the success of retro inspired indie games such as Shovel Knight & Freedom Planet? And would you like to team up with indie developers again in the future to revive any of your other long dormant IPs?
    (Bonus question, what do you think of Freedom Planet?)

  17. For Mr. Iizuka;

    When you reworked the Chaotix for Sonic Heroes, how did you decide what personality each individual character would have and how they would interact with each other under a shared job occupation?

  18. For Iizuka-san: Has a second appearance of the Super Emeralds and Hyper Sonic ever been considered? Do you think, or are you in favour of another appearance from Hyper Sonic. I, for one, would love it!

    For Naka-san: In an ideal world, would you ever have liked to release a new Sega console. If so, what would you call it?

  19. Question 1 for Iizuka-san: You may not be able to answer this question yet, but, are you planning to introduce more playable characters in Sonic 2017 apart from both Sonic and Classic Sonic? I mean, for example, in a similar way you did in Sonic 2006 where you control Sonic but sometimes you control Tails or Knuckles to open new paths.

    Question 2 for both Iizuka-san and Naka-san: What’s your opinion about Sonic Mania? (For Izuka-san) Would you consider to continue with the development of Classic Sonic games like this in the future? in case Sonic Mania is successful.

  20. I would just like to say thank you sooo much you made my childhood and adulthood amazing and im proud to tell you both im in the making of our next sonic fan if you catch my drift lol my question is please please will you ever make a game with full of shadow the hedgehog and sonic the hedgehog ultimate rival battle and full on epic story of them fighting against each other but of course in the end fighting together

  21. A question for Iizuka-san: If you could pick one Sonic character besides any version of Sonic to make a game about, who would it be?

    A question for Naka-san: Do you think the Wii version of Rodea: The Sky Soldier could ever get a standalone release on the Nintendo Wii U eShop as a Wii Virtual Console title, so more people can get a chance to play the game?

  22. To Iizuka-san: Is Sonic 2017 planned to have multiple characters like Tails and Knuckles or just Classic Sonic? If not, can we ever look forward to playing these characters soon?

  23. (I apologise if this has already been asked and answered before…)

    Was Tikal intended to be a playable character in the past? (In the Sonic Adventure game).

  24. Honoured guests,

    Would you like to see a Sonic Heroes sequel?
    Would any of the team configurations be different now, or would there be a new team entirely?
    Perhaps an option to create your own team of three out of all the possible characters, with unique dialogue based on the configuration (one speed, one flying, one power).


  25. At what point did you realise that the Sonic brand was a successful project for SEGA?
    Did you have a gut feeling during development? Or afterwards?
    Are you surprised after 25 years that Sonic is still popular worldwide?

  26. Before the questions, I want to thank you by molding my childhood. Without you I wouldn’t be the same.
    For Takashi Iizuka: What was the most difficult sonic game to develop and why ?
    For Naka: If you could back in time, would you change something about your carrer.

  27. To Mr. Naka: Sonic (and Eggman) are twenty-five years old. In that time, have you been satisfied with the relationship between the two characters and the direction it and the series has gone? Would you be open to seeing a darker, adventurous take on Sonic and Eggman’s rivalry like what has been done previously in the TV shows and comic books?

    To Mr. Iizuka: Will we see a further exploration on the origins of the Chaos Emeralds beyond what was shown in Sonic Adventure?

    To both: Which characters would you like to see gain super transformations that have yet to gain them (e.g. Amy Rose, etc.)

    If Sonic would ever have a non-sport, crossover game with any game franchise from Sega or otherwise, which would you like to see happen?

  28. A another question arises :

    In the History of Sonic book, it is stated that development of Sonic Adventure started in July 1997 … in the middle of Burning Rangers’ development. So did Sonic Team split in two in order to work on those two games at the same time or Burning Rangers’ development was finished in July 97 ?

  29. 1-Well you come back to work with sega or at least cooperate with them again?
    2-What you think about sonic games after you left sega?
    3-What you think about Sonic the hedgehog 2006 it has a lot of criticism even thought it has a good OST and gameplay (I didn’t get any problem except for some parts of the story).

    1. I forget last question:
      while You work on sonic adventure 1&2 , did you think or make plan about adventure 3?

  30. For Iizuka-san, as stated at the 25th Anniversary Party, Metal Big is too power. Any way we could get Metal Big as some kind of post game boss in Project Sonic 2017 for expect players, as a fun Easter Egg?

    For Naka-san, how different do you think the Sonic series would have been if they finished Sonic X-treme?

  31. For both of the honored guests;

    Back in 1999 there was a Sonic the Hedgehog franchise called “Sonic Underground” that was aired as a television show. It had an alternate-universe from the main Sonic the Hedgehog game series, and was well received despite ending prematurely.

    If a team of fans came to you asking if they could reboot the show and to extend it to a franchise like the similar alternate-universe Sonic Boom, would you be willing to allow it?

  32. A Question for both:

    Back in 2001, Phantasy Star Only was very advanced for it’s time: a Console Online RPG, running over Modems, with a built in Translation system:

    What Technical challenges worried you during the production, and how did you overcome them?

  33. To Naka-san : Aside from Sonic, what Sega game are you most proud to have worked on?

    To Iizuka-san : In the future, could there ever be another Sonic Collection? And what are the chances of ever seeing re-releases of some of the rarer games such as Knuckles’ Chaotix, Sonic Pocket Adventure, or SegaSonic Arcade?

  34. Hello, I am the creator of Chao Island – a website that has run for 15 years with over ten thousand members. All of us are very eager to know if you will be doing anything with the Chao franchise in the future; do you have anything to say to us Chao fans that desperately want to see more of the cute cuddly creatures?

  35. Naka-san, any plans on releasing a sequel to the great Wii game: Rodea the Sky Soldier? If not, will Prope be working on another new game?

Comments are closed.