Yuji Naka, the famed co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, has reportedly been arrested in Japan (via Fuji News Network) in connection with an insider trading case involving former Square Enix employees.
The scandal centers around former Square Enix employee Taisuke Sazaki, who obtained information that the Dragon Quest Tact mobile game was being jointly created by game developers Square Enix and Aiming. Sazaki and another ex-Square Enix employee, Fumiaki Suzuki, allegedly purchased 162,000 shares in Aiming between December 2019 and February 2020 for approximately 47.2 million yen (around $336,760) prior to the project’s public announcement on February 5th, 2020.
Naka was allegedly aware of the Aiming deal and bought 10,000 shares for about 2.8 million yen (around $20,000) before it was publicly announced. Naka worked with Square Enix on the Balan Wonderworld game between 2018 and 2021. All three men have now been arrested on insider trading charges.
“We have been fully cooperating with requests from the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission,” said Square Enix in an official statement following the arrests. “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.”