Sonic the Hedgehog creator arrested for alleged insider trading

Joe Harker

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Sonic the Hedgehog creator arrested for alleged insider trading

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy

The co-creator of video game icon Sonic the Hedgehog has been arrested in Japan on allegations of insider trading.

Yuji Naka was one of several apprehended by the authorities on charges of insider trading in connection with the release of a new game.

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According to Kotaku, there is a scandal erupting around the announcement back in 2020 that game studio Aiming would be making a Dragon Quest game.

There are allegations that a number of individuals including Naka knew about the deal ahead of the announcement and bought a significant amount of shares in the studio with the expectation that their value would rise after the news broke.

This is insider trading, where a person uses information not available to the public to make stock purchasing decisions with the extra advantage the secret knowledge can provide.

Yuji Naka, co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, has been arrested in Japan. Credit: Shutterstock
Yuji Naka, co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, has been arrested in Japan. Credit: Shutterstock

It is not illegal in every country, but insider trading has been against the law in Japan since 1988 and carries a potential prison sentence of up to five years behind bars.

The 57-year-old Naka is regarded as one of the main creative forces behind Sonic the Hedgehog and was lead programmer for the original series of Sonic the Hedgehog games on the Sega Mega Drive.

It is alleged that he bought 10,000 shares in game studio Aiming before the news that they would be making a new game went public.

The value of the shares he bought is estimated to be ¥2.8 million ($20,000), while the investigation is yet to discover whether Naka or anyone else arrested still owns the shares, or if they have been sold off for a profit already.

Two other men, one of them a former employee of game developer Square Enix where Naka also worked for a time, were also arrested on allegations of buying 162,000 shares between them while using insider trading.

Naka was heavily involved in the development of the first Sonic the Hedgehog games. Credit: ArcadeImages/Alamy Stock Photo
Naka was heavily involved in the development of the first Sonic the Hedgehog games. Credit: ArcadeImages/Alamy Stock Photo

While his creator isn't doing so well at the moment, Sonic the Hedgehog is enjoying something of a career renaissance after bringing out two pretty successful movies.

Created by Sega to compete with Nintendo mascot Mario, Sonic might be losing the battle when it comes to quality and popularity of games, but he struck first on the big screen.

All right, that's not entirely true, but it's probably better if the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film was forgotten by everybody.

With Mario's own movie, starring Chris Pratt in the lead role, due to release soon, it remains to be seen whether Sonic will eventually come off second best to his rival in yet another area.

Topics: News, World News, Gaming, Crime

Joe Harker
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