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Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka facing over two years in prison for insider trading

Naka has been accused of using inside knowledge obtained at Square Enix to invest in partner studios.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 1, 2023

1 Min Read
A headshot of Yuji Naka

Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Yuji Naka could be handed a two-year prison sentence and fined over $1.2 million for insider trading during his time at Square Enix.

As reported by the Abema Times (via VGC), prosecutors at the Tokyo District Court are calling for Naka to be handed a person sentence of two years and six months for allegedly purchasing 10,000 shares in developer Aiming after learning the studio would be working with Square Enix on Dragon Quest Tact.

Naka accused of insider trading

Naka was 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 news was made public.

Shortly after, he was also accused of investing over 144.7 million yen into Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier developer Ateam before the project was announced.

Back in March, it was reported that Naka admitted to insider trading and said he "no doubt" knew the facts Square's business plans before they were made public and "bought the stock" as a result.

Abema's report indicated that prosecutors are pushing the prison sentence and fine because Naka "showed no signs of remorse."

His defense, meanwhile, has requested the fine be reduced and the sentence be suspended. A final decision is expected to be handed out on July 7.

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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