Sonic creator arrested for alleged Square Enix insider trading

Yuji Naka, one of the co-creators of Sonic the Hedgehog has been arrested in Japan for alleged insider trading related to a mobile game.

As reported by the Japanese newspaper Mainichi (thanks Eurogamer), two men were arrested on suspicion of insider trading in relation to the publisher, Square Enix.

Naka was employed at Square Enix to help create Balan Wonderworld, which ended up being a critical flop.

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Sonic creators last game bombed

Balan Wonderworld was released in March 2021. However, in June 2021, Yuki Naka announced that he had departed Square Enix for reasons unknown at the time. What’s more, it was assumed his departure was related to the failings of Balan Wonderworld.

However, in April 20222, Naka tweeted that he was removed by Square Enix as the director of Balan Wonderland about half a year before its release.

In a series of tweets, Naka would accuse Square Enix of releasing an unfinished game.

Sonic creator accused of Square Enix insider trading

Fast forward several months and Naka, along with another individual have been accused and arrested on suspicion of insider trading at Square Enix. Naka is being accused of purchasing shares said to be worth 2.8 million yen. Which works out to be about £16,700/$19,800 USD.

The shares are related to the mobile game Dragon Quest Tact which launched in Japan on July 20th, 2020. The game was then released in the west in January 2021. It is believed that Naka bought the shares before the developer of the game (Aiming Inc.) made its partnership with Square Enix public.

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Furthermore, it is reported that Naka and the other accused individual had purchased Aiming Inc. stock between December 2019 and February 2020.

Dragon Quest Tact was announced in February 2020, before releasing just over a year later.

Moreover, Naka and the other accused individual are said to have worked at Square Enix from the autumn of 2019 until 2021.

Was information leaked about the Dragon Quest announcement?

dragon quest tact insider trading
Credit: Square Enix

Looking at Naka’s tweets from April 2022, he says he was removed as director of Balan Wonderland about half a year before those tweets were posted.

Balan Wonderland was released in March 2021 and six months prior to that would be September 2020. This just so happens to be when Dragon Quest Tact was announced to be released in 2021. Make of that what you will.

Finally, what are your thoughts on the Square Enix insider trading accusations? Let us know across our social media channels.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our video of the week. 10 of the scariest horror games of all time are shown off. What is your favourite horror game?

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Featured Image Credit: Square Enix/Source: Eurogamer via Mainichi