Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka has been formally indicted following allegations of insider trading during his time at Square Enix. According to reporting from NHK, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office determined that Naka and former Square Enix employee Taisuke Sasaki both purchased stock ahead of a public announcement regarding Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier. Naka allegedly purchased ¥144.7 million yen in developer Ateam's stock, which translates to about $1.08 million in U.S. dollars. That stock was purchased with the expectation that the price would significantly grow following the game's public announcement.
At this time, no announcement has been made about Naka's first arrest, which involved similar allegations regarding another Square Enix game, Dragon Quest Tact. Ahead of the game's announcement, Naka allegedly purchased 10,000 shares in the company Aiming, Inc. The Dragon Quest series is massively popular in Japan, and has been for many years. Given the popularity of the series in that region, it's not difficult to see how those with prior knowledge of a new game could expect to make a big profit.
While Naka is best known as the creator of Sonic, he left Sega back in 2006. Naka began working at Square Enix in 2018, with his first and only project being Balan Wonderworld. Earlier this year, Naka alleged that he was let go from Square Enix six months before Balan Wonderworld's release, after he made complaints about the state of the game. That has never been confirmed, but his time with the company supposedly came to an end in March 2021, which would have been just a few weeks after the announcement of Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier. Ironically enough, The First Soldier proved to be a big disappointment, and the game is set to be shut down next month.
At this time, no information has been provided about a trial date for Naka, but hopefully Japanese authorities will make an announcement in the near future.
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[H/T: Video Games Chronicle]1comments