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Sonic Co-Creator Yuji Naka Has Been Arrested For Alleged Insider Trading

This comes as part of a wider investigation into two other former Square Enix employees accused of the same.


Yuji Naka, co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog and director of Balan Wonderworld, has been arrested on the basis of alleged insider trading.

According to Fuji News Network (via The Verge), former Square Enix employee Taisuke Sazaki, who has worked on both the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series, had obtained information that Square Enix and Aiming would be developing Dragon Quest Tact. Sazaki apparently learned of this prior to the announcement of the game (publicly revealed on February 5), and along with another former Square Enix employee Fumiaki Suzuki, allegedly purchased 162,000 shares in Aiming between December 2019 and February 2020 for roughly 47.2 million yen (approximately $336,760). FNN reports that Naka was also allegedly aware of the Aiming deal, purchasing 10,000 shares for about 2.8 million yen (approximately $20,000) prior to the reveal.

Naka was developing Balan Wonderworld with Square Enix at the time, and alongside Sazaki and Suzuki, has been arrested on insider trading charges. Square Enix provided a statement on the matter, saying, "As the investigation by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is underway, we will continue to fully cooperate with their investigation.

"We deeply regret the great concern this has caused to all concerned. We have dealt with this incident strictly, including internal disciplinary actions taken against the suspected employees."

Naka left Square Enix in 2021, later criticizing the company for the way he was treated, noting that he had filed a lawsuit against it as a result.

The notable game maker is probably best known as the co-creator of Sonic, as well as the co-creator of Nights into Dreams. Balan Wonderworld is his most recent title, though it was generally panned by critics and players alike.

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