Yuji Naka – the co-creator of Sonic and the more recent Balan Wonderworld – has reportedly been arrested in an ongoing Square Enix insider trading investigation.
This follows the arrest of Square Enix employees Taisuke Sazaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, who allegedly acquired shares in Japanese game development company ‘Aiming’ ahead of the announcement of its new mobile title Dragon Quest. Dragon Quest Tactics.
Sazaki and Suzuki reportedly purchased 47 million yen (approximately $336,300) of shares in developer Aiming. Yuji Naka was also accused of having inside information – the purchase of 10,000 shares of Aiming for 2.8 million yen (about 20,000 USD) before the same announcement.
Square Enix released an official statement revealing that it is working with authorities on the investigation and taking appropriate action against the suspicious employees:
“We deeply regret the great concern this has caused to all concerned. We have handled this incident strictly, including internal disciplinary action taken against the suspected employees.”
Since the launch of Balan Wonderworld and his departure from Square Enix, Yuji Naka has been embroiled in a lawsuit with the Japanese publisher and developer, having apparently been removed from the game as director “about six months before release”.