Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka says there's "no doubt" he committed insider trading

Yuji Naka
(Image credit: Yuji Naka)

Legendary programmer and game designer Yuji Naka said in court that there is "no doubt" he knew a pair of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy spin-offs were going to be announced before he bought stock in the companies developing them.

Naka was arrested in November 2022, with allegations that he had purchased thousands of shares in a studio called Aiming, prior to the announcement that the studio was working on the mobile game Dragon Quest Tact. Naka was arrested again in December 2022, this time with allegations that he had purchased well over 100,000 shares in mobile developer ATeam Entertainment before that studio announced its work on Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier.

According to a variety of (opens in new tab) translations (opens in new tab), Naka said in court today that there is "no doubt" he knew these games were going to be announced before he purchased stock in Aiming and ATeam Entertainment. News articles on Naka's admission from Japanese outlets like NHK (opens in new tab) and TBS (opens in new tab) were brought to English-speaking attention by Time Extension (opens in new tab).

Yuji Naka is best known for his work at Sega through the 90s and early 2000s, where he took leading roles in the original Sonic the Hedgehog games and a continued string of cult classics like Nights into Dreams, ChuChu Rocket, Samba de Amigo, and Feel the Magic XX/XY. In 2006, he started his own studio called Prope, which spent a decade doing more obscure work, from small Wii games to some of the StreetPass games available on 3DS.

In 2016, Naka went to work for Square Enix, where he led development on the legendarily maligned platformer Balan Wonderworld. Naka quietly left Square Enix after Balan Wonderworld's release in 2021, but he later claimed that he had been removed from the director's chair well before the game's launch. He made some scathing comments about Square Enix when he revealed he had filed a lawsuit against the company.

You can still thank Naka for some of the best Sonic games of all time.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.