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Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka arrested over alleged insider trading

Alongside other former Square Enix developers.

Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Yuji Naka is one of several former Square Enix employees arrested by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office for alleged insider trading.

According to reports from Fuji News Network and Automaton, Yuji Naka, Fumiaki Suzuki and Taisuke Sasaki are accused of buying shares in Dragon Quest Tact developer Aiming with advance knowledge the studio was working on the game.

Suzuki and Sasaki — who’ve worked on Square Enix titles including Dragon Quest 11 and NieR Automata — are alleged to have purchased more than 47 million yen of Aiming stock ahead of a public announcement regarding Tact, while Naka is alleged to have purchased 2.8 million yen of stock in the same manner. It’s alleged the stock was purchased as the announcement of Aiming’s Dragon Quest deal would increase its price, potentially providing quite a substantial payoff.

Naka’s work at Square Enix included Balan Wonderworld. At Sega, Naka co-created Sonic the Hedgehog and worked on properties including Nights and Phantasy Star.

In a statement, Square Enix said it has “fully cooperated with the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission’s investigation into this incident.”

“Currently, an investigation by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is underway, and we will fully cooperate with the investigation to clarify the facts,” Square Enix’s statement continued.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.