Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka arrested during insider trading investigation at Square Enix

Yuji Naka
(Image credit: Yuji Naka)

Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka has reportedly been arrested in Japan over allegations of insider trading.

As first reported by Japanese outlet FNN earlier today on November 18 (and translated by Bloomberg reporter Takashi Mochizuki), Yuji Naka has reportedly been arrested. His arrest is related to allegations of insider trading specifically related to Square Enix's Dragon Quest series.

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The arrest was made by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, in relation to a case of insider trading that focuses on both Square Enix and its partner developer, Aiming. Naka was an employee of Square Enix at the time the publisher signed a deal with Aiming to develop Dragon Quest Tact, a strategy spin-off from the historic RPG series.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office alleges Naka purchased 10,000 shares in Aiming to the tune of ¥2.8 million ($20,000) prior to Dragon Quest Tact's public announcement. 

However, Naka isn't the only former Square Enix employee to have been arrested on charges of insider trading. FNN is also reporting that Taisuke Sasaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, arrested yesterday on November 17 on charges of insider trading, purchased a combined 162,000 shares for ¥47.2 million ($337,250) in Aiming prior to Dragon Quest Tact's announcement.

What the FNN report can't confirm is if any of the three men arrested actually sold their shares in Aiming following Dragon Quest Tact's reveal. 

At the time of Dragon Quest Tact's announcement, Naka was still an employee of Square Enix in Japan. The Sonic co-creator would then depart Square Enix in June 2021, but subsequently claimed he was forcibly removed from directing Balan Wonderworld, and had sued Square Enix following his departure

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.