Yuji Naka Apparently Confirms Michael Jackson Helped Compose Sonic 3 Soundtrack [Update]

Update 6/23 9:58 PT: Yuji Naka has backtracked somewhat on his claims that Michael Jackson is somehow involved in the music of Sonic 3. Sonic 3 original, Naka said his tweets were “misunderstood”.

“I feel like I’m often misunderstood, probably because I don’t speak English and use a translation tool. Sorry,” Naka wrote.

This is in relation to a previous Tweet where Naka apparently links Sonic 3’s music to Michael Jackson through a tribute Sega tweeted to the pop star. We’ll just have to move this rumor into the vaults of the greatest untold tales in gaming history.

Original story: Former Sega programmer Yuji Naka appears to have confirmed that Michael Jackson did indeed work on the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack, which could explain why it’s no longer used in newer re-releases of the game.

On Twitter, Yuji Naka reacted to the fact that the Sonic 3 soundtrack in the Sonic Origins collection has been changed. He then went on to say, “Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though Sega Official uses Michael Jackson’s music.”

Naga then clarifies that he is referring to a Sega TikTok video where the company uses the star’s song to celebrate sonic’s 31st birthday. However, that doesn’t seem to negate his previous involvement on the Sonic 3 soundtrack.

Earlier this week, Sonic’s social media manager Katie Chrzanowski confirmed that the game’s soundtrack will not be included in the new Classic Games Collection. It’s long been speculated that pop star Michael Jackson worked on the soundtrack due to its similarities to his biggest songs like Smooth Criminal, Stranger in Moscow, and Jam.

Instead, the Sonic 3 soundtrack for Origins was adapted from the 1993 prototype discovered in November 2019. Fans weren’t exactly happy with the results.

Sonic Origins launches June 23 on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey

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