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Yuji Naka first applied for work at Sega in 1983. His early work impressed his boss, leading to several major programming jobs. These included programming Phantasy Star, a console RPG, in 1987. His true claim to fame, however, was 1991's Sonic the Hedgehog, which he was the lead programmer for. He would continue to program Sonic's sequels on the Genesis.
After the release of Sonic & Knuckles, Naka became a producer at Sega. He oversaw the creation of many Sega classics, including Nights Into Dreams, Sonic Adventure, and Phantasy Star Online.
In March 2006, Yuji Naka annnounced that he would be leaving Sega to create a new company, Prope. Prope would create a number of titles for both Sega's consoles and mobile devices.