Co-creator of beloved Sonic the Hedgehog arrested for alleged insider trading

Stonks only go up, right?

Yuji Naka

Yuji Naka, the co-creator of everyone’s favourite blue mascot, has reportedly been arrested in Japan for alleged insider trading.

The reports came flooding in by way of Twitter and an article via Fuji News Network. Police arrested Naka and two other conspirators after a special investigation by the Tokyo Prosecutors Office uncovered damning evidence of insider trading related to Square Enix’s Dragon Quest Tact mobile game.

Prosecutors allege that while working for Square Enix, Naka gained knowledge of the publisher’s partnership with the development studio of the game, Aiming, and used said knowledge for personal gain, purchasing approximately 10,000 shares in Aiming for about ¥2.8 million (£16,700) prior to the unveiling of Dragon Quest Tact in 2020. A huge no-no under Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.

Naka revealed he had sued Square Enix in April this year after his abrupt departure (or termination) from the company in June 2021 and accused the publisher of releasing an action-adventure title called Balan Wonderworld – that he worked on as lead director – in an unfinished state.

“In my opinion, it is a real shame that we released the unfinished work Balan Wonderworld to the world. I wanted to release it to the world as an action game in a proper form considering various things. I think Square Enix and Arzest are companies that do not care about games and game fans.”

The other two alleged acquaintances, Taisuke Sasaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, were arrested November 17, and prosecutors claim the pair purchased a combined total of 162,000 shares in Aiming valued at ¥47.2 million (£283,000). The only thing that FNN can’t confirm is whether their shares in Aiming were sold following Dragon Quest Tact’s announcement.

Square Enix has yet to make an announcement following the incident.