Sonic designer Yuji Naka and two others arrested in Square Enix insider trading scandal

In short: Authorities in Japan have arrested three individuals within the final 24 hours for insider buying and selling. Not less than two of them are former workers of online game large Sq. Enix, together with the legendary former studio head of Sonic Group Yuji Naka. The costs stem from the buying and selling of inventory of a small developer known as Aiming.

In September 2020, Sq. Enix announced a Dragon Quest cellular sport titled Dragon Quest Tact. A small, comparatively unknown studio named Aiming was engaged on the venture. Some workers inside Sq. Enix had heard this developer was engaged on a brand new entry for the beloved DQ franchise earlier than the announcement and purchased a great deal of inventory within the firm.

In response to Japanese information outlet FFN, Tokyo authorities arrested Taisuke Sazaki Thursday night on prices of insider buying and selling. Sazaki, who had labored on such franchises as Closing Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, bought 27.2 million yen ($194,000 US) value of shares in Aiming between December 2019 and February 2020. Authorities allege the acquisition got here after Sazaki realized the small print of the Dragon Quest venture.

Sazaki’s buddy, Fumiaki Suzuki, faces related prices. He allegedly went in with Sazaki’s 162,000 share buy, making him a co-conspirator.

Tokyo police arrested a 3rd suspect — Yuri Naka. If the title sounds acquainted, it is as a result of Naka was one of many co-creators of the unique Sonic the Hedgehog sport and subsequent head of the studio liable for the sequence, Sonic Group. His resume additionally consists of work on standard video games akin to Phantasy Star I&II, Nights into Desires, and Ghouls ‘n Ghosts.

Extra lately, he served as director of the platformer Balan Wonderworld. That sport flopped, and Naka left Sq. Enix. In April 2020, he sued the writer, claiming he was wrongfully dismissed from the venture over disagreements concerning the sport’s stability six months earlier than its launch and subsequent failure.

Police allege Naka knew of the Aiming deal earlier than it was made public and bought 10,000 shares within the firm value 2.8 million yen ($20,000 US). Authorities charged him with violating Japan’s Monetary Devices and Trade Act.

Police didn’t point out whether or not any of the suspects had bought off their inventory for a revenue. Sq. Enix has not commented on the state of affairs.

Picture credit score: Yves Tennevin

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