Japanese media is reporting that Yuji Naka, the legendary Sega game designer behind Sonic the Hedgehog and Balan Wonderworld, has been arrested on alleged insider trading charges related to development information on Dragon Quest Tact.
Japanese outlet FNN reports that Yuji Naka allegedly learned that Dragon Quest Tact in production at Square and partner developer Aiming while he was working on Balan Wonderworld, which launched in 2020. Prosecutors allege that Naka used this information purchased 10,000 shares in Aiming for around 2.8 million yen ($AU29,831) before the game was announced. According to FNN, Naka was arrested under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.
Naka was not the only one arrested. Former Square Enix developer Taisuke Sasaki and an acquaintance, Fumiaki Suzuki, were arrested yesterday on suspicion of insider trading. Prosecutors allege that the two bought around 162,000 Aiming shares for 47.2 million yen ($AU502,868). All three are believed to have purchased Aiming shares in the hope that when Dragon Quest Tact was announced, the value of the shares would jump considerably.
Dragon Quest Tact launched in Japan in mid-2020 and was formally unveiled earlier that year. It is understood that both Sasaki and Suzuki were employed at Square Enix at the time, and worked on Dragon Quest XI and Dragon Quest X respectively.
Balan Wonderworld, Naka’s most recent game, was considered a commercial flop and a critical curiosity. Yuji Naka would leave Square Enix not long after the game launched.
More as it develops.
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