Sonic co-creator avoids prison sentence for insider trading

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Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka has received a suspended fine of approximately 1.1 million euros in Japan, as well as a suspended prison sentence of 2.5 years. His probation will last four years. Naka has been found guilty of insider trading.

The 57-year-old Naka was accused of buying shares in gaming companies with which his employer Square Enix would enter into a partnership. By making these purchases before the collaboration became public, he managed to make a large profit on the shares. This would concern shares in developer Aiming, which later made a Dragon Quest game with Square Enix. He later did the same with developer Ateam, who would make a Final Fantasy game.

According to the Japanese news agency Jiji Press Naka and an accomplice are said to have made ‘hundreds of millions of yen’ through the practices. For example, 200 million yen is worth almost 1.3 million euros.

Naka, together with Naoto Ohshima, are credited as the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog, for Sega, in the 1990s. That character made his first playable debut in Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Mega Drive. Naka was also involved in creating the games Nights into Dreams, Samba de Amigo, Puyo Pop and Balan Wonderworld.

Yuji Naka in 2015, image through Wikipedia under license
(Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)

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