Totally not-radical dude…

Prominent video game programmer, designer, producer, and co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, Yuji Naka, has been arrested on suspicion of insider trading. The developer was arrested on Friday, having been accused of insider trading related to mobile game Dragon Quest Tact, and its developer Aiming.

As per Forbes, the Naka is accused of buying 10,000 shares in Aiming ahead of it being announced as the developer of the studio. The assumption is that the shares would rise in value once the news of the studio being made the developer of Dragon Quest Tact was made public.

Yuji Naka’s career and Sonic the Hedgehog

Yuji Naka, sometimes credited as YU2 in games, was the lead programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog games on Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis in the US). He is also credited for major development contributions on Nights into Dreams, Burning Rangers, Sonic Adventures, and Phantasy Star. 

However, in 2006, Naka left Sega, to found Prope, an independent game studio. Prope created primarily Android and iOS games, with a few licenced Digimon Games as well. In 2016, Naka joined Square Enix, forming the subsidiary Balan Company, which would go on to create Balan Wonderworld.

A commercial and critical flop, Balan Wonderworld was one of Square Enix’s biggest missteps in recent years. In April 2022, Naka reportedly left Square Enix. However, it seems his departure didn’t come before first allegedly using his insider knowledge to invest in Aiming. 

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office accuses Naka and two other men of insider trading related to non-public information about the 2020 mobile game Dragon Quest Tact.

The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise recently released its latest entry, Sonic Frontiers, to critical acclaim. In the game, Sonic must explore the Starfall Islands collecting Chaos Emeralds. We can only speculate that the justice-orientated, blue-furred hero would probably not approve of the Sonic creator’s insider trading. Although given that most of his adventures involve Chaos Emeralds and an evil robotics scientist, we can’t know for sure his stance on financial misdeeds.

Michael Hassall -

Michael Hassall

| Twitter: @hoffasaurusx

Michael is a UK-based content creator who caught the esports bug in 2010, but took eight years to figure out he should write about it. Throwing away a promising career in marketing and PR, he now specialises in MOBAs, covering League of Legends, Dota 2, and esports in general since 2019. When not glued to tournaments taking place on the other side of the globe, he spends time nurturing an unhealthy addiction to MMOs and gacha games.