Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic the Hedgehog and, more recently, Balan Wonderworld, has been arrested in Japan on suspicion of insider trading. Japan’s Fuji News Network first reported on Naka’s arrest, which Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki translated on Twitter.
The report accuses Naka and two others of using knowledge regarding the mobile game Dragon Quest Tact, knowledge obtained during Naka’s time working at Square Enix, to inform their decision to purchase stocks in Tact’s co-developer, Aiming. Naka reportedly learned of a major new development regarding Tact that the trio believed would increase Aiming’s stock value.
Also accused were former Square Enix employee Taisuke Sasaki and their friend, Fumiaki Suzuki. The trio purchased 10,000 shares for 2.8 million yen, approximately $19,000, though the report didn’t say whether they had already sold their shares or if the information they acted on turned out to be legitimate.
Naka had a public falling out with Square Enix earlier in 2022, where he accused the publisher of derailing his vision for Balan Wonderworld and publishing what he called an unfinished game with no regard for the people playing it. He also said Square Enix removed him from his role as director six months before the game launched. The conflict resulted in Naka suing Square Enix, though details of the case were not disclosed
Written by Josh Broadwell on behalf of GLHF
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