An investigation into suspected insider trading by former Square Enix employees is underway, and Japanese news site Fuji News Network reports that Sonic The Hedgehog’s co-creator Yuji Naka has been arrested in connection. Naka is alleged to have bought around 10,000 shares in Dragon Quest Tact developers Aiming back in 2020 for ¥2.8 million (£16,800). At that point, Naka was still working with Square Enix on Balan Wonderworld.
Along with other suspects arrested earlier this week, the Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors’ Office have reason to believe Naka may have had foreknowledge of Aiming’s contract to develop mobile spin-off Dragon Quest Tact when he bought the shares in the company. Naka was arrested under Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, as it’s thought he could have profited from any increase of Aiming’s share price once Dragon Quest Tact was announced. It’s not been made public whether Naka and the other suspects had sold their shares in Aiming.
Square Enix attracted the ire of Naka after the release of Balan Wonderworld, which flopped. The developer only joined the company in 2018, but left last year. Naka claimed on Twitter back in April that Square Enix had sought to remove him as director of Balan Wonderworld, so he’d sued them. Although he’s best known for helping bestow Sonic on the world, Naka left Sonic Team years ago and didn’t work on the latest game starring everyone’s second favourite blue hedgehog (Hi, Ugly Sonic). Ed found it enjoyable but bizarre in his Sonic Frontiers review.
Sonic Frontiers is out now on Steam for £50/$60/€60. I just miss Nights Into Dreams, personally.