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Sonic Co-Creator Yuji Naka Arrested For Insider Trading

yuji naka

So we were going to report on the latest trailer for Sonic Prime. But this is far more interesting.

Yuji Naka, Japanese game designer and member of the main team credited for the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog, has just been arrested for the crime of insider trading. Naka reached a peak of prestige in the 1990s because of Sonic and his own NiGHTS Into Dreams game. In recent years his reputation has taken a lot of hits, partly due to reports of employee abuse and partly due to Balan Wonderworld, his latest creation for Sega, bombing as one of the worst released games of 2021. And…now there’s this.

Here’s what we know, from the report on Kotaku: in 2020 Square announced a new Dragon’s Quest game was in development, and named a small studio called Aiming as the developer. Square Enix employee Taisuke Sazaki, veteran of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy, found out about the news ahead of time and decided to purchase stock in Aiming, believing said stock would go up on the day of the announcement. This is the very definition of insider trading…but he wasn’t alone.

Over the last 24 hours, a number of people who were working for Sega at the time have also been roped into the scandal, including Naka — who was, at the time, making Balan Wonderworld for them. Naka purchased 10,000 shares of Aiming and had no outside reason to do so.

As for Sonic Prime, which Naka had nothing to do with, here’s the new trailer:

After a confrontation with Eggman over something called the Paradox Prism, the madman gets a little too squeezy with the crystal and shatters it, sending both he and Sonic into alternate dimensions (or “Shatter Spaces” as Tails puts it). Sonic lands in a dark world where Eggmen have taken over — yes, plural. The previous trailer focused on just this world, but the new one reveals some of the other places Sonic will visit, like a pirate-themed dimension and a jungle planet.

Sonic Prime will be released on Netflix December 15, with a special double-length episode to start things off. Yuji Naka will be watching from prison; shouldn’t you too?