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Yuji Naka arrested for suspected insider trading

Former Square Enix employee and Sonic creator said to have bought $20,000 shares in partner studio ahead of game announcement

Sonic the Hedgehog creator and former Square Enix employee Yuji Naka has been arrested for suspected insider trading.

Japanese news outlet FNN reported today that the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office arrested Naka in connection with a case around Square Enix's partnership with Japanese developer Aiming.

Naka was an employee of Square Enix at the time the publisher signed a deal to have Aiming develop a Dragon Quest Tact, a mobile spin-off of the long-running RPG series.

Naka is said to have bought 10,000 shares in Aiming for ¥2.8 million ($20,000) ahead of the game's announcement.

FNN also reported that Taisuke Sasaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, two former Square Enix employees who were arrested yesterday, purchased a combined 162,000 shares for ¥47.2 million ($337,250).

It is believed the three bought shares in Aiming in the hope the price would rise after Dragon Quest Tact's announcement.

It is unclear if any of them have sold their shares.

Naka's departure from Square Enix was announced in June 2021, a few months after the launch of his poorly-received title Balan Wonderworld.

However, earlier this year, Naka claimed on Twitter that he had been removed as game director roughly six months before the game's launch and had filed a lawsuit against Square Enix to deal with the dispute.

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James Batchelor

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James Batchelor has been a journalist in the games industry since 2006, joining GamesIndustry in 2016, and also runs Non-Violent Game of the Day (@NVGOTD). He does play violent games, but always on Story/Easy mode.