Sonic’s co-creator has been arrested due to insider trading with private Dragon Quest information
Tokyo’s Public Prosecutors Office ordered the arrest of Yuji Naka, co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, alongside two other people, including a Square Enix employee.
Yuji Naka has been arrested by Japanese authorities, according to FNN. The Sonic co-creator was one of a few people detained as part of an operation related to the announcement of a new Dragon Quest game, which also included two other suspects in Japan including a current Square Enix employee. All of them have been accused of exploiting privileged information to perform insider trading of industry shares.
In 2020, Aiming studio announced they were developing Tact, a Dragon Quest mobile title. Taisuke Sazaki, a Square Enix employee that had previously worked in franchises such as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, caught wind of this revelation ahead of time and started buying shares in the studio alongside an acquaintance. Their intention was to increase the share’s value and profit from the public release of a new DQ game.
Why was Sonic’s creator arrested?
Yuji Naka has been accused of the same crime. According to FNN, Sonic’s and Night into Dreams’ father who also worked on the Phantasy Star series, knew of this information during his time working at Square Enix working on Balan Wonderworld. He allegedly used this knowledge to preemptively buy 10,000 shares of Aiming, valued in around $20,000 USD. Authorities are investigating if any of the accused still own their shares or if they’ve already been traded for profit. The developer has been silent on Twitter since November 16.
Yuji Naka left SEGA and joined Square Enix a few years ago, where he worked on Balan Wonderworld. This platforming game failed to meet expectations in the market, and garnered negative reviews from critics and audiences. The creative was let go from his position in the company even before the game was released.
Sonic Frontiers for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC is SEGA’s Hedgehog most recent game in its franchise. It’s been very well received since its launch earlier last week.