I find it particularly strange that the more involved fans would overlook his contributions relative to Oshima and Yasuhara, though I've seen enough to acknowledge that it's the case. The reality is that the engine, gameplay, and physics he established would not just be foundational to the success of Sonic but the very metric by which we see 2D entries and sections in the franchise judged by even today with the utmost scrutiny and insistence. This is leaving aside the fact that his pursuits with the programming led to the initial rabbit character being shifted into the character we know today, and interviews indicate that he had roles in the first entry and those after that go beyond these contributions. It'd be nice to see him navigate the gaming space through independent measures if the interest strikes his fancy. Considering he has Prope and independent publishing options, I don't see that as an overbearingly discouraging issue if he's bothered to push for something purely indie or through his company. He basically has the best fixings for a situation that's as hypothetically dire as you frame. His arrangement with Square seemed like an exception to his prior trajectory. One that seems rather odd, frankly.