Yuji Naka — co-creator of Sonic and the later Balan release Wonderworld — has reportedly been arrested in Square Enix’s ongoing insider trading investigation.
This follows the arrest of Square Enix employees Taisuke Sazaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, who allegedly purchased shares in Japanese game development company “Aiming” prior to the announcement of a new Dragon Quest game for mobile devices. Dragon Quest Tact.
Sazaki and Suzuki allegedly purchased shares in developer Aiming for 47 million yen (about $336,300). Yuji Naka was also accused of possessing inside information – buying 10,000 shares of Aiming for 2.8 million yen (approximately $20,000) prior to the same announcement.
Square Enix released an official statement saying it is working with authorities to investigate and take appropriate action against the suspected employees:
“We deeply regret the great concern this caused to all concerned. We have responded strongly to this incident, including internal disciplinary action taken against the suspected employees.”
Since the launch of Balan Wonderworld and its departure from Square Enix, Yuji Naka has been involved in a lawsuit with the Japanese publisher and developer after he was apparently suspended from the game as director “about half a year prior to release”.