Yuji Naka Pleads Guilty in Court to Charges of Insider Trading

Yuji Naka insider trading

On March 2, 2023, game developer and Sonic creator Yuji Naka pleaded guilty to the charges of engaging in insider trading during his time developing Balan Wonderworld alongside Square Enix. The creative purchased stocks of Ateam Entertainment Inc, with the knowledge that new mobile games in the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy franchises developed by the company would be announced shortly after. [Thanks, DenFamiNico Gamer!]

The developer is charged with violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. This is the main text that regulates securities laws and companies in Japan, that is, the regulation of shares and stocks, ensuring its fair and lawful exchange and acquisition.

During his first trial in the Tokyo District Court, defendant Yuji Naka acknowledged his involvement in the case of insider trading, and stated the following:

“There is no doubt that I knew about the existence of these games before they were publically announced and bought stocks.”

Naka worked for Sega from 1984 to 2006, and is well known worldwide as the creator of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. He was originally accused of insider trading in November 2022. He was later accused a second time in December 2022.

Balan Wonderworld is available for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows PC.

Daniel Bueno
Daniel is a writer and translator from the Spaghetti Western land of Andalusia, Spain. He also has bylines at Xbox Outsider. His favorite genre is JRPGs, and not a single day passes that he does not think of Mistwalker's Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey. In truth, he is a Dragon Quest slime in a human suit.