Yuji Naka

From Sega Retro

Yuji Naka.jpg
Fast facts on Yuji Naka
Place of birth: Osaka, Japan
Date of birth: 1965-09-17 (age 51)
Role(s): Programmer, Designer, Producer, Executive

Yuji Naka (中 裕司), born 17 September 1965 in Osaka, Japan, is a video game designer, programmer, the former head of Sonic Team (usually credited by his alias, YU2), and currently the head of the video game development company, Prope.


When Yuji Naka was 17 years old, he decided that he wanted to program video games. He owed this fascination to Ryuichi Sakamotos "Yellow Magic Orchestra" program, which allowed the composition of music on your computer.

Being a large fan of Namco, Yuji Naka aimed to work for them after he graduated from college. However, Namco only accepted work from university graduates, and thus Yuji Naka would not be eligible as he did not want to go to university.

He did however score a job at Sega as a programming assistant. His first release was a game for the SG-1000 called Girl's Garden. Yuji Naka's distinction was producing/project managing projects while simultaneously handling the lead programming of them. Examples of this are the Sega Master System titles, Space Harrier II and Phantasy Star II.

In 1990 he, along with Naoto Oshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara, began to conceive Sonic the Hedgehog and then leading the now dubbed Sonic Team, putting his leadership and programming talents into work.

On March 16, 2006 it was announced that Naka would be creating his own independent game studio, with partial financial backing from Sega. Naka left Sega to set up this studio, called Prope, but has since come back as a consultant for various Sega titles, including Sonic the Hedgehog titles.

Production history

Song Credits

OutRun (Master System Version)

  • Magical Sound Shower — Arrangement
  • Passing Breeze — Arrangement
  • Splash Wave — Arrangement
  • Last Wave — Arrangement


Magazine articles

Main article: Yuji Naka/Magazine articles.