Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator arrested for suspected insider trading

Naka was reportedly arrested alongside two other former employees.  (Paramount Pictures)
Naka was reportedly arrested alongside two other former employees. (Paramount Pictures)

Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Yuji Naka has reportedly been arrested for suspected insider trading, for an investment made during his time working at entertainment company Square Enix.

As reported by Japanese outlet FNN and translated by, Naka is believed to have been arrested by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office at the same time as two other former Square Enix employees.

Allegedly, Naka bought 10,000 shares in the developer Aiming for around $20,000 (around £16,700) before the Dragon Quest Tact mobile game was announced, in partnership with Square Enix.

The other two employees involved, Taisuke Sasaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, allegedly purchased an additional 162,000 shares for around $337,250 (around £280,000) between them. These two were arrested alongside Naka and it’s currently unclear if any of the three have sold their shares.

The trio are therefore reportedly suspected of investing in Aiming with the belief that the collaboration with Square Enix would drive up the value of the company after the Dragon Quest game would be announced. This is alleged insider trading, as it uses private information to make money on the stock market.

Naka is perhaps best known for his work co-creating Sonic the Hedgehog and leading Sega's Sonic Team but was also the lead programmer on other games, such as Nights into Dreams, Phantasy Star Online, and more. He left Square Enix in June 2021, not long after the release of the latest game in his portfolio, Balan Wonderland.