‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ creator and former Square Enix employee arrested over insider trading

yuji naka
  • Legendary Sonic designer Yuji Naka is among several former Square Enix employees accused of insider trading.
  • Naka was reportedly arrested on Friday for allegedly buying 10,000 shares of the Japanese game developer Aiming prior to the company’s announcement that it would be working alongside Square Enix on the “Dragon Quest Tact” game.
  • After working as the lead programmer for the original “Sonic the Hedgehog” series for Sega and creating his own studio Prope, Naka joined Square Enix in 2016 to work on the “Balan Wonderworld” platform game.
  • It was during his time at Square Enix that Naka learned about the company’s joint venture with Aiming.
  • Two other employees, Taisuke Sazaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, were also arrested on insider trading charges.
  • “We deeply regret the great concern this has caused to all concerned,” Square Enix said in an official statement. “We have dealt with this incident strictly, including internal disciplinary actions taken against the suspected employees.”

Legendary Sonic designer Yuji Naka is among several former Square Enix employees accused of insider trading. 

Naka was reportedly arrested on Friday by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly buying 10,000 shares of the Japanese game developer Aiming for 2.8 million yen (around $20,000) prior to the company’s announcement that it would be working alongside Square Enix on the “Dragon Quest Tact” game.

After working as the lead programmer for the original “Sonic the Hedgehog” series for Sega and creating his own studio Prope, Naka joined Square Enix in 2016 to work on the “Balan Wonderworld” platform game before being relieved of his duties in 2021, six months before the game’s launch. 

It was during his time at Square Enix that Naka learned about the company’s joint venture with Aiming. 

Two other former Square Enix employees, Taisuke Sazaki, 38, and Fumiaki Suzuki, 40, were also accused of purchasing shares before the announcement of the mobile installment of the “Dragon Quest” series, purchasing 162,000 shares for 47.2 million yen ($336,760). 

“We deeply regret the great concern this has caused to all concerned,” Square Enix said in an official statement. “We have dealt with this incident strictly, including internal disciplinary actions taken against the suspected employees.”

Featured Image via Square Enix

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