Yuji Naka, a co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, was one of three people detained this week on suspicion of insider trading.
Before this information was made public, it is claimed that Naka purchased 10,000 shares of Aiming Co while employed by Square Enix after agreeing to a lucrative contract to assist in the development of the Dragon Quest mobile game. The cost of the shares was reportedly 2.8 million yen (17,000 pounds), however it is unknown if Naka sold them or not.
Naka was in charge of programming the first three instalments of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, which were released in 1991, 1992, and 1994. He joined Square Enix after leaving Sega in 2006. He filed a lawsuit against Square Enix earlier this year after the publisher of Balan Wonderworld fired him, stating Square Enix “doesn’t appreciate games or game enthusiasts.”
The Tokyo Prosecutor’s Office detained Naka this morning (November 18), after the detention of former Square Enix workers Taisuke Sazaki and Fumiaki Suzuki. According to PC Gamer, these two individuals deserve special recognition for their technical production work on several well-known Square Enix games, including NieR Automata, Final Fantasy 14, and Dragon Quest 11.
According to reports, the pair bought shares in Aming Co for 47 million yen (282,000 pounds) without being aware of the company’s partnership with Square Enix on Dragon Quest Tact.
Square Enix issued a statement following the arrests promising to “completely assist with the investigation to clarify the facts.”
“We sincerely regret that this situation has raised serious concerns among all parties involved. According to the statement, “We are taking strong action against this occurrence, including disciplinary action against a former employee.
“We have strictly implemented a framework to avoid insider trading, such as prohibition, and have endeavoured to assure complete knowledge through internal training,” Square Enix continued. In addition, we will keep improving our internal training and work to stop a recurrence across the entire organisation.
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