The creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, Yuji Naka, has reportedly been "re-arrested" on charges of insider trading, this time linked to the Final Fantasy series.
According to the Japanese newspaper Asahi (translated via Google), Naka and another former Square Enix employee, Taisuke Sasaki, were arrested on suspicion of violating Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. It's alleged that when the pair discovered that development on Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier would be handled in partnership with developer Ateam, they purchased more than 200,000 shares in the company, earning the pair "hundreds of millions of yen."
This comes just weeks after the duo were arrested alongside another Square Enix employee, Fumiaki Suzuki, on charges of insider trading relating to the development of Dragon Quest Tact. In that case, the trio are thought to have purchased more than 170,000 shares in the game's developer, Aiming, at a cost of ¥50 million ($357,000). It's not clear whether those shares were sold, but Asahi's report does imply that shares in Ateam were sold at a profit after the price rose in the wake of the First Soldier announcement in February 2021.
Naka left Square Enix in June 2021, and subsequently sued his former employer, claiming he was forced off his most recent project, Balan Wonderland, ahead of its release. Last month, Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier would shut down in January 2023. Dragon Quest Tact was released in July 2020. It is not yet clear when Naka and Sasaki are alleged to have purchased their shares in its developer.