Originally Posted by Docpan
"Over in Japan, Sonic Team were busy working on their own Saturn masterpiece, NiGHTS. The engine utilized in the game would've made the ideal building block for a 3D Sonic title... such as Sonic X-Treme. STI requested the NiGHTS engine, as creating their own from scratch would've been too time-consuming for their unreasonable deadline. Stolar happily obliged. STI began familiarizing themselves with the engine, but their luck ran out just two weeks later. Yuji Naka, it seems, got wind of STI's acquisition of the NiGHTS technology. This was during an era of intense rivalry between Sega Japan and Sega US, and Naka hated Sega US. So, being the good sport that he is, he went to the head of SoJ and demanded that the NiGHTS engine be taken away from STI, threatening to quit if his "request" wasn't carried out. What Yuji wants, Yuji gets, so the NiGHTS engine was retracted leaving STI to start from scratch"
Sounds like sabatoge... And racism to me.
I'm sure it does sound like racism to you. It also sounded like racism to you when you thought that Naka hated the US designers of Sonic 2 because they came along and created a better game than him... oh, wait, but he helped make that one, too.
Look, Naka didn't sabotage X-treme. X-treme had plenty of problems all on its own. Its history of problems long predated his decision not to allow the use of the NiGHTS engine -- from switching from one platform to another, from Sega of America switching developers and removing the original creators of the game and then putting them back into place with a short deadline, the illness of the lead designer, etc. Yeah, Naka played a role in the whole thing, but frankly, given its history, I seriously doubt X-treme ever would've been completed even if he hadn't stepped in.
You can say, "Oh, he's racist!" but that's pretty dumb. We can debate whether his edict/threat was appropriate or justified -- he believed they were trying to copy a game he was making and that he was very protective of. To blame him for the game's death is incorrect, though. And racism? There was institutional rivalry between Sega of America and Japan that went well beyond Yuji Naka and Sonic X-treme -- problems that happened before that game was even conceived and that persisted after its termination. There's a lot more to that than simply tossing around the "oh, they're all racists" lameness.