Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka reportedly facing over two years in prison for Square Enix insider trading

Yuji Naka
(Image credit: Yuji Naka)

Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka is facing over two years in prison following allegations of insider trading during his time at Final Fantasy developer Square Enix.

That comes from the Japanese publication Denfanminicogamer, which reports that the Tokyo District Court has called for the sentence today, alongside fining Naka ¥2.5 million and ¥170 million, respectively. 

At the time of writing, Naka’s defence team seeks to reduce those fines and a suspended sentence, though we'll need to wait until July 7 for the final verdict.

Allegations of Naka’s insider trading at Square Enix initially surfaced last year. He was first arrested in November 2022 over claims he acquired thousands of shares in a studio called Aiming, right before it was revealed to the public that the developer was working on the mobile game Dragon Quest Tact.

It wouldn’t be the first time, though, as Naka would again be arrested a month later over allegations he purchased over 100,00 shares in mobile developer ATeam Entertainment. Much like the time prior, this was before it was public knowledge the studio was working on the battle royale title Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier. 

Not long after that, various Japanese publications reported that Naka admitted to the court that there was “no doubt” he knew about the unannounced projects Aiming and ATeam Entertainment were working on before buying shares.

Naka initially came to work at Square Enix back in 2016, going on to release the infamously maligned Balan Wonderland in 2021. He would quietly leave soon after, though he would later claim he was removed from the director’s chair long before the platformer launched. The fallout didn’t stop there, however, as he would go on to make scathing remarks about Square Enix before filing a lawsuit against the company.

For some of Naka's better ideas, you can check out the best Sonic games right here.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.