'Sonic' co-creator Yuji Naka reportedly arrested for insider trading

Naka purchased stocks of a Square Enix partner that worked on a 'Dragon Quest' game, Fuji News Network said.

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Yuji Naka, who co-created Sonic the Hedgehog and headed programming for the original game series, has reportedly been arrested for insider trading. According to Fuji News Network, authorities believe Naka bought 10,000 shares in game development company Aiming for 2.8 million yen ($20,000) before it became public that the developer was working with Square Enix on Dragon Quest Tact.

Naka joined Square Enix in 2018 and worked on the platform game Balan Wonderworld. He wasn't there that long, however, and announced that he had left the company shortly after the game was released. Naka also revealed earlier this year that he had sued Square Enix after they removed him as Balan Wonderland's director six months before the game was launched. While he has already left the company, he was still with Square Enix while Dragon Quest Tact was being developed, and that was allegedly how he learned about the smartphone game before it was even announced.

Naka wasn't the only former Square Enix employee who was arrested for insider trading. A Taisuke Sasaki and a Fumiaki Suzuki were also arrested for purchasing 162,000 shares of Aiming for around 47.2 million yen ($337,609). Like Naka, they reportedly bought Aiming stocks with the belief that they'd go up in value after Dragon Quest Tact's announcement. In a statement addressing the duo's arrest, Square Enix said that it's fully cooperating with the investigation and that it has set up a system to prevent any more instances of insider trading.