Sonic the Hedgehog Creator Arrested for Alleged Insider Trading Again

Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka has reportedly been re-arrested alongside other former Square Enix employees. Naka was arrested back in November on charges of insider trading, and it seems that is the case once again, this time for a different game from the publisher. According to reporter Takashi Mochizuki, Naka is alleged to have purchased stock in Ateam after finding out that the mobile game developer was working on Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier. The share purchases reportedly took place when Naka was a Square Enix employee, and prior to the game's public announcement.

Yuji Naka is widely known as the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, and has been a prominent developer since. Naka began working at Square Enix in 2018 on the game Balan Wonderworld, and was with the company through March 2021. Naka claims that he was let go from the publisher six months prior to the game's launch, and has maintained that the termination was a result of his complaints about the title's quality. In November 2022, Naka was arrested on similar claims that he purchased 10,000 shares of the company Aiming, Inc. Aiming is the developer of Dragon Quest Tact, and Naka's shares were allegedly purchased shares before the game's announcement. In that case, Naka was arrested alongside an associate, as well as former Square Enix employee Taisuke Sasaki.

At this time, it's unclear what impact the announcements of Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier and Dragon Quest Tact had on their developer's respective share price. It's also unlcear whether Naka sold those purchased shares following the announcements. However, in both cases, it's easy to see how someone could have expected to make a big profit. Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy represent Square Enix's most successful franchises, and those new announcements could have led to a lot of excitement.

As of this writing, additional information on Naka's second arrest has not been released. Hopefully Japanese authorities will reveal more information in the near future. 

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