Last month we got word that Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Yuji Naka had been arrested for allegedly being involved in an insider trading scandal with other former Square Enix employees. That charge concerned buying shares in developer Aiming once they learned they would be working on mobile game Dragon Quest Tact, and now a similar issue has found Naka placed under arrest once again.
This time around it’s because Naka and two others allegedly purchased shares in developer Ateam prior to the announcement that they would be working on Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier. Those involved learned about the partnership between Square Enix and Ateam while working at Square Enix between September and December 2020 before things were announced to the public in February 2021.
According to prosecutors, Naka purchased 120,000 shares for 144.7 million yen (US$1.05 million), while fellow former Square Enix employee Taisuke Sasaki purchased 91,000 shares for 105 million yen (US$763,000) and his acquaintance purchased 10,000 shares for about 11.8 million yen (US$85,000). Naka and Sasaki reportedly made hundreds of millions of yen through these deals, prosecutors claim.