The insider trading allegations against Yuji Naka, which were filed in the fall of 2016, have resulted in a guilty plea. The Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator had admitted to breaking Japanese financial law by purchasing shares in Aiming before the studio’s collaboration with Square Enix on Dragon Quest Tact was announced.
According to reports, Naka has stated that he made a profit of more than 20 million yen (about $150,000) from selling his investment. Thus far, he hasn’t been punished for the illicit dealings. After joining Square Enix in 2018, the seasoned programmer quit the business suddenly after seeing his solo project through to completion (the mobile game Balan Wonderland).
After being removed from his position as director of Balan just before its launch, he filed a lawsuit against the corporation. When he first learned about Dragon Quest Tact, Square Enix still employed him.
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Two additional ex-employees, Daisuke Sasaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, were also detained for allegedly purchasing Aiming shares with insider information. Square Enix said it works with authorities and has a system to avoid insider trading.
Although the effectiveness of the plea agreement in preventing developers from utilizing trade secrets to manipulate the stock market remains unclear, the guilty plea does serve to deter such behavior in principle.
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