Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka has been arrested on suspicion of insider trading
Yuji Naka is one of several Japanese developers who has been arrested in relation to a Dragon Quest mobile game announcement
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Yuji Naka arrest
🦔 Yuji Naka, the co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, has reportedly been arrested
🕵️ The arrest is in relation to an ongoing Square Enix insider trading investigation
👮♀️ Naka is accused of purchasing 10,000 shares in development studio Aiming for 2.8 million yen before a Dragon Quest mobile game announcement
🙈 Yuji Naka’s last game with Square Enix was the terribly-received Balan Wonderworld
Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka, 57, has reportedly been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into insider trading at the Japanese publisher Square Enix.
Naka’s arrest, first reported by FNN, comes shortly after two Square Enix employees, Taisuke Sazaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, were also taken into custody, after allegedly acquiring stock in a Japanese game development company called ‘Aiming’.
The employees bought stock prior to the announcement of Aiming’s new Dragon Quest mobile title, Dragon Quest Tact, suggesting that they used their insider knowledge to capitalize on Aiming’s stock price increase.
Sazaki and Suzuki are alleged to have purchased 47 million yen (around $336,300) of Aiming stock, while Naka has been accused of purchasing 10,000 shares for 2.8 million yen (around $20,000) before the Dragon Quest mobile game announcement took place.
Publisher Square Enix, which parted ways with Naka after the disastrous reception to his last game, Balan Wonderworld, issued an official statement regarding the arrests and has said it’s working closely with authorities in Japan to take appropriate action.
“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.”
The Dragon Quest series continues to be a huge draw in Japan and a mobile version of the franchise was bound to draw interest from a nation that has slowly transitioned away from traditional console gaming to mobile. Several Dragon Quest titles have been added to the PlayStation Plus Premium games list and Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of An Elusive Age - Definitive Edition is still available on Xbox Game Pass.
As for Yuji Naka, the developer has since been involved in a lawsuit case against Square Enix, after he said the company removed him as the Balan Wonderworld’s director half a year before its release. This, Naka implied, was one of the many reasons why Balan Wonderworld was such a critical flop.
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