It seems as if the co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog has landed himself into some big trouble after Balan Wonderworld's failure. Yuji Naka was recently reported to have been arrested over accusation of insider trading regarding a Dragon Quest game. The man, alongside another former Square Enix employee, is now facing criminal charges.
So, how did we get to this point. Well, according to the investigation led by the Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, Yuji Naka learned in January 2020 that Square Enix was going to collaborate with developer Aiming for a new Dragon Quest game named Dragon Quest Tact.
With this knowledge, Yuji Naka then proceeded to purchase around 10,000 shares of Aiming for approximately 2.8 million yen (roughly $20,000 USD) before the title was announced. This was all done with the knowledge that the company's stock would rise after the announcement of the game. This is basically a big no-no in the financial industry as it constitutes a crime known as Insider Trading.
Yuji Naka was then subsequently arrested alongside Taisuke Sasaki, another former Square Enix employee. The third person involved in the crime was Fumiaki Suzuki which was just a mutual acquaintance of Naka and Sasaki. The men were accused of having purchased around 162,000 shares of Aiming for approximately 47.2 Million Yen (~$342,000 USD).
Square Enix spoke recently to VGC regarding the arrests of Sasaki and Suzuki. The company stated the following:
Today, some media outlets reported that the former employees of Square Enix were under investigation for suspected insider trading, We have been fully cooperating with requests from the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission. As the investigation by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is underway, we will continue to fully cooperate with the investigation.
We deeply regret the great concern this has caused to all concerned. We have dealt with this incident strictly, including internal disciplinary actions taken against the suspected employees.
The company also stated that it is taking several measures to prevent a similar situation from happening again by adding the obligation of prior notification when trading the company's stock and preventing the trading of stocks with companies that have a business relationship with Square before important non-public information is disclosed.
That's it for the story for now, but we'll continue to report on the fate of Yuji Naka as more information pops up.