Game programmer, director was arrested twice last year
NHK reported Thursday that game programmer and director Yuji Naka admitted the charges against him of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act in his first trial in a Tokyo District Court on Thursday.
Prosecutors said in an opening statement that Naka allegedly bought 130,000 shares and made 20 million yen (about US$146,600) in profit after finding out about upcoming new games in Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy series.
The Tokyo District Attorney’s Office first arrested Naka on November 18 on suspicion of insider trading. The arrest was connected to the arrests of earlier ones Square Enix employed Taisuke Sasaki and his acquaintance Fumiaki Suzuki. Sasaki and Suzuki are said to have invested in the company after learning that it was developing Dragon Quest Tact smartphone games in collaboration with Square Enix.
The same prosecutor arrested Naka one more time on December 7 on suspicion of insider trading, or buying/selling shares based on non-public information. While still at Square EnixNaka is said to have invested in Ateam, developers of the company’s Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier mobile game, before the game’s announcement. Earlier Square Enix employee Taisuke Sasaki was also once again arrested for the same reason. They are suspected of having bought about 120,000 shares of Ateam for about 144.7 million yen (about $1 million).
Naka joined Square Enix in January 2018, and resigned from the company at the end of April 2021. He had then stated that he could not explain the reason for the dismissal, but would talk about it publicly when the time came. Naka revealed in April 2022 that he had filed a lawsuit against Square Enix for allegedly removing him as a director of Balan Wonderworld the game six months before the game was launched.
Naka worked for 22 years at Sega. He is the former leader of The Sonic Team and lead programmer for the original Sonic the Hedgehog game for Sega Genesis. He also worked on such games as Nights into Dreams and Fantasy Stars Online while at Sega.
Naka is the president and CEO of game development company PROPE, which he founded in 2006 after leaving Sega. At PROPE he worked on such games as Fishing place, Buddy Monsterand Legend of Coin.
Source: NHK via Siliconera