Sonic creator Yuji Naka faces two years in prison for latest insider trading arrest

Yuji Naka, co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, has been found guilty of insider trading and sentenced to two and a half years in prison along with a fine of over $1.2 million.

Naka, formerly an executive at Square Enix, pleaded guilty to the charge in March and at his trial, it was reported that he had shown no remorse for his illegal actions. The Tokyo District Court will issue its final judgement on July 7th, with Naka’s defence calling for his prison sentence to be suspended and his fine reduced on the grounds that he inadvertently saw sensitive information not relevant to his role.

The charges relate to Naka purchasing shares in Aiming and Ateam based on non-public information to which he had access during his time at Square Enix. He bought 10,000 shares in Aiming knowing that the company was planning to release its mobile game Dragon Quest Tact, and subsequently bought 120,000 shares in Ateam after receiving information about Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, making a profit of $146,000. This kind of insider trading is illegal in most parts of the world and carries significant penalties.

Naka is best known for his work on the Sonic games and his most recent offering, Balan Wonderworld, was somewhat disappointing. While it had its merits, it paled in comparison to Naka’s earlier works, including Sonic Adventure and Nights into Dreams.