Sega developer Yuji Naka (57), widely known for his work on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series, has been arrested in Japan for his involvement in an Insider Trading Scandal.
The scandal finds its roots in a mobile game announcement developed by Aiming Studio named Dragon Quest Tact. The Dragon Quest game is a joint venture between Aiming Studio and Square Enix.
Taisuke Sazaki(38), a former Square Enix employee, has been pressed with charges for allegedly buying 162,000 shares of Aiming Studio worth 47.2 million yen (around $336,760) between December 2019 and February 2020.
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Sazaki and another ex-Square Enix employee, Fumiaki Suzuki, owned these shares before the deal between Aiming Studio and Square Enix was made public on February 5th, 2020. Both the employees had bought these shares, hoping to profit when their share price (presumably) went up.
The Sonic fame creator Yuji Naka had also obtained this information before the deal, reportedly buying 10,000 Aiming Studio shares worth 2.8 million yen (around $20,000).
Naka is also known to have worked with Square Enix on a Balan Wonderworld game between 2018 and 2021. He’s one of the co-creators of Sonic the Hedgehog video game series and has worked on video game titles such as NiGHTS Into Dreams and Phantasy Star.
These three men are now under custody at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on the grounds of Insider Trading. “We have been fully cooperating with requests from the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission,” said Square Enix in a public statement.
“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.”
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Source: The Japan Times