Sonic co-creator arrested a second time for even more insider trading shenanigans

Yuji Naka with a drone.
(Image credit: Yuji Naka)

Sonic co-creator and Balan Wonderworld director Yuji Naka has been arrested a second time for alleged insider trading, mere weeks after his initial apprehension.

Naka was originally arrested in mid-November alongside two Square Enix employees, Fumiaki Suzuki and Taisuke Sazaki. The three were accused of buying shares in developer Aiming Inc. before its collaboration with Square Enix for the mobile game Dragon Quest Tact was announced. Naka allegedly purchased around 10,000 shares worth roughly 2.8 million yen (approx $20,000 USD), though it was unknown if he had taken advantage of the announcement to sell them off.

Now, Naka is being accused of insider trading for a different Square Enix game. As reported by Asahi and VGC, the developer has been re-arrested alongside Sazaki for alleged confidential knowledge of fellow mobile game Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier. Similar to the Dragon Quest Tact situation, Naka was allegedly aware of Square Enix's plans to collaborate with developer ATeam before the announcement was made. He is said to have purchased around 120,000 shares in the mobile studio for approximately 144.7 million yen (approx $1 million USD). Sazaki is reported to have purchased 91,000 shares for 105 million yen. The Asahi report also claims that a third unnamed party was made aware of the collaboration, who then purchased around 10,000 shares for 11.8 million yen.

When Naka, Suzuki and Sazaki were first arrested, Square Enix released a public statement on the matter. The developer said it would "fully cooperate with the investigation to clarify the facts," adding it was "taking disciplinary action against the former employees." It is yet to comment on the follow-up arrests.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.