Sonic arrest

Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka arrested for insider trading

By Olivia Richman

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Dec 28, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

The creator of Sonic the Hedgehog Yuji Naka has been indicted for insider trading.

Sonic creator Yuji Naka was accused of insider trading during his time at Square Enix, according to local media. And now the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office has determined that Naka and another former Square Enix employee, Taisuke Sasaki, are guilty.

It’s been determined that Naka and Sasaki purchased stock ahead of the public announcement of Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier. Naka purchased the equivalent of $1.08 million in Ateam’s stock, using insider knowledge of Final Fantasy’s upcoming reveal to predict that the stock price would skyrocket when the announcement went public.

Naka was arrested for insider trading in November 2022 for insider trading, that time buying stocks in Aiming, Inc, the developer behind Dragon Quest. The purchase of Ateam’s stocks was the second time he was arrested for insider trading. Naka worked at Square Enix during both arrests.

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Who is Yuji Naka?

Yuji Naka is most well known for creating Sonic, the iconic blue hedgehog.

Naka was born in 1965, making him 57 years old. He started working at Sega in 1984 and began working on a game called Girl’s Garden. He programmed the original Sonic the Hedgehog game in 1991.

The game was praised by critics for its fast-paced gameplay along with its visuals and audio. It has become one of the most beloved video games of all time and was one of the best-selling at the time. It sold 24 million copies worldwide across all platforms, helping Sega compete with Nintendo in that early era. Sonic has continued to be an iconic franchise with new games, movies, and more.

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Naka produced many other games during his time at Sega but left in 2006 to create his own game studio, Prope. In 2018, Naka joined Square Enix where he stayed until the summer of 2021. He started teaching himself programming at this point in hopes of working on mobile games.

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