Sonic developer Yuji Naka apprehended for expert trading

A photo of Yuji Naka standing in an office

Image: Square Enix

Yuji Naka, the co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog as well as previous head of programmer Sonic Team, has actually been apprehended for expert trading in Tokyo. The information, initially reported by Japanese news site FNN, has actually been proven by the Asahi Shimbun paper in an English-language report.

Naka is affirmed to have actually purchased supply in programmer Aiming in very early 2020, based upon details that it would certainly be establishing a Dragon Quest mobile game, Dragon Quest Tact. At the moment, author Square Enix’s collaboration with Aiming on the game was not yet public, as well as Naka was operating at Square Enix on unfortunate platformer Balan Wonderworld.

The unique examinations device of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, that made the apprehension, stated that Naka had actually purchased 10,000 shares in Aiming for around 2.8 million yen ($20,000) after learning more about Dragon Quest Tact in late January 2020, prior to the news of the game the adhering to month. The presumption is that he was wanting to benefit from a rise in the share cost after the news as well as launch of the game — although based upon present coverage, it’s unclear if he did offer the shares.

Naka’s apprehension Friday adheres to those of 2 various other previous Square Enix staff members a day previously on the exact same fees. Taisuke Sazaki as well as Fumiaki Suzuki are stated by detectives to have actually purchased 47 million yen ($336,000) well worth of Aiming supply in between late 2019 as well as very early 2020, after Suzuki discovered of Dragon Quest Tact’s presence in November 2019.

According to the Asahi Shimbun, Sazaki as well as Suzuki marketed their Aiming shares after the news of Dragon Quest Tact in February 2020, benefiting to the song of 10s of countless yen. The paper’s resources additionally claim that Sazaki was really a participant of the joint advancement group working with Dragon Quest Tact. Sazaki obtained a “Special Thanks” reference in the credits for Balan Wonderworld.

Polygon has actually spoken to Square Enix for remark. In a statement issued to VGC Thursday, dealing with the apprehensions of Sazaki as well as Suzuki, the business stated:

Today, some media electrical outlets reported that the previous staff members of Square Enix were under examination for believed expert trading. We have actually been completely accepting demands from the Securities as well as Exchange Surveillance Commission. As the examination by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is underway, we will certainly remain to completely accept the examination. We deeply be sorry for the excellent worry this has actually created to all worried. We have actually taken care of this event purely, consisting of interior corrective activities taken versus the believed staff members.

Naka co-created Sega mascot Sonic the Hedgehog with musician Naoto Ohshima. As lead designer on the initial 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog as well as its follows up, it was Naka’s code that made it possible for the game’s trademark fast-moving, fluid visuals. Naka left Sega in 2006 as well as invested a while as an independent programmer prior to signing up with Square Enix in 2018, where he reteamed with Ohshima to establish Balan Wonderworld.

But the game’s advancement didn’t work out. Balan Wonderworld was launched in March 2021 as well as met bad evaluation ratings as well as a debate concerning seizure-inducing flashing sequences. In April 2022, Naka revealed that he had actually been started the task 6 months prior to its launch, stated he had actually taken legal action against Square Enix over his separation, as well as asked forgiveness to followers for the “unfinished” state of the game.


Source: Polygon

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