Sonic, the scurrying hedgehog and Sega mascot, is one of the most well-known video game characters ever. Its creator, Yuji Naka, isn’t quite as well known, but is now making headlines. Because he has to go to prison – at least in theory.
Insider trading in gaming
A court in Japan ruled that Naka had a history of illegal insider trading. Specifically, he knew in advance that the Aiming company was working on the mobile game Dragon Quest Tact, so he bought a total of 10,000 Aiming shares before the announcement.
So he speculated on an increase in the company’s value and a later sale of the shares at a significantly better price.
Naka and two other Square Enix employees involved were arrested last November for violating Japan’s finance and stock exchange law, and a short time later it was revealed that they were also involved in insider trading in another title (Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier). had been. In the last few months they have been put on trial. (via nintendoeverything)
Going to jail is unlikely
The verdict for Naka: A prison sentence of 2 years and 6 months and a large fine totaling 172 million yen (almost 1.1 million euros).
However, Naka will probably not have to serve the sentence as she is suspended for four years. If Naka is not guilty of anything during this time and does not get into trouble with the law, he will be able to avoid going to prison.
53-year-old Naka began his career in the video game industry in 1984, joining Sega. His most famous work is certainly the first Sonic the Hedgehog, which appeared in 1991 for the Mega Drive.
Numerous other titles followed for various Sega consoles (e.g. ChuChu Rocket! or Samba de Amigo for Dreamcast), before he went to Square Enix in 2016. There he was responsible for Balan Wonderworld, which flopped massively.