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Report: Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka arrested over suspected insider trading

The arrest is part of a wider investigation into insider trading at Japanese publisher Square Enix.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

November 18, 2022

2 Min Read
A headshot of Yuji Naka
Yuji Naka (via Twitter)

Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Yuji Naka has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of insider trading.

According to Gematsu (via FNN Prime Online), the Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office arrested Naka as part of its investigation into an insider trading scandal involving his former employer, Square Enix.

The arrest relates to an purported incident in 2020, that allegedly saw Naka purchase 10,000 share in Caravan Stories developer Aiming after learning the studio would be collaborating with Square Enix to create Dragon Quest Tact.

Naka is specifically accused of spending 2.8 million yen to purchase those shares before the partnership was announced, believing the studio's stock price would increase once the link-up was made public.

Two more former Square Enix workers, Taisuke Sasaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, have also been arrested over suspected insider trading, and are believed to have bought 162,000 shares in Aiming for 47.2 million yen before the studio's involvement with Dragon Quest Tact was revealed.

This isn't the first time Naka has made headlines since departing Square Enix in 2021. Earlier this year, the Balan Wonderworld director posted a series of tweets claiming he was removed from the project six months before the title launched.

Specifically, Naka said it was a "disgrace" that Balan Wonderworld was allowed to release in such a rough state, and said he fought to stay involved with the project until the very end. Balan Wonderworld raised eyebrows when it was released due to its lack of polish and was largely panned by reviewers. 

"Personally, I believe that it is a true disgrace that Balan Wonderworld was released in the state that it was in. I wanted to show the world an action game in its proper light. Therefore, I believe that Square Enix and Arzest are companies that care about neither games nor their fans," he tweeted back in April.

Naka said he tried to address those issues and even asked his lawyers to negotiate with his business partners so he could implement fixes, but it seems that request was seemingly ignored.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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