Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka has been handed a suspended prison sentence and fined over $1.1 million after being found guilty of insider trading.
Naka was accused of spending 2.8 million yen to purchase 10,000 shares in Aiming after learning the studio would be working with Square Enix on Dragon Quest Tact before the partnership was made public.
He was also alleged to have invested over 144.7 million yen into Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier developer Ateam before the project was officially announced.
After finding Naka guilty of insider trading, Judge Madoka Hiruta issued a two-and-a-half year prison sentence that will be suspended for four years. Naka was also handed two fines of 2 million yen ($14,000) and 170 million yen ($1.1 million).
Hiruta said Naka had "damaged the fairness and soundness of the stock market" and eroded the "trust of investors." They also noted that Naka "was known as one of the world's most famous game developers, and had the authority to access joint development information."
Naka left Square Enix in April 2021 after his latest release, Balan Wonderworld, failed to win over critics. At the time, Naka indicated he may retire from game development outright, and claimed he wasn't able to discuss the reasons for his departure.