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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) and VGC (opens in new tab), 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.