Sonic Co-Creator Sentenced To 2.5 Years In Prison; Fined $1.2 Million Over Insider Trading

The hefty allegations were true after all.

Story Highlights

  • Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka has been given a sentence of two years and a half along with four years of probation. He also has to pay a hefty fine that amounts to $1.2 million.
  • He was arrested for insider trading while working at Square Enix in the past. He has also been arrested many times in the past over similar claims.
  • The former Sonic boss would use his position to gain knowledge and buy shares of companies before their projects were officially announced, selling them for extra profits.

Yuji Naka has been handed a hefty prison sentence of over two and a half years, as reported by Yahoo Japan—the page has since been deleted. The court has finally made its decision to crack down on the insider trading crime committed by the Sonic co-creator after he was arrested at the beginning of last month. Naka has been handed over four years of probation, meaning he can avoid getting locked behind bars as long as any crimes are avoided in the process.

According to the judge of the Tokyo District Court, the former Sonic boss also showed remorse over his crimes. Despite his sorrow over the crime, Yuji Naka is not free of the massive plenty that needs to be paid. He has been fined 2 million yen, amounting to nearly $13.8k, and 171 million yen, which is approximately $1.18m on top of it. The sentence has been given because of insider trading while working at Square Enix in the past.

Yuji Naka’s dark descent into insider trading began last year at Square Enix, where he was arrested for the first time over accusations of purchasing thousands of shares for a company called Aiming before its mobile project, Dragon Quest Tact, was publicly announced. Similar occurrences became all too common from there, with the Sonic co-creator getting arrested again over buying shares of ATeam Entertainment before its title was revealed.

Yuji Naka seemingly purchased about 120,000 shares of the studio before the game Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier was officially revealed to the public. He was accused of gaining an advantage by knowing about the titles ahead of time. In all of the allegations, it was alleged that Naka would sell the shares of these studios as soon as their value would rise after the release of their games.

Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier was shortly shut down after release due to poor reception
Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier was shortly shut down after release due to poor reception.

The Sonic co-creator spent half a decade working at Square Enix until the famous failure Balan Wonderland was released. His bond with the notable company started to degrade around this time. Naka was either fired or left the company on his own over the accusation that he was pulled out of the director’s position before the title came out. Regardless, he sued Square Enix with a lawsuit along with a few demeaning remarks.

The Sonic co-creator boasts an eventful legacy in the game ecosystem; the former Sonic boss played a major role in popularizing the character. His life has certainly impacted the gaming industry in both positive and illegal ways, sprinkled in between. Naka has been arrested many times over insider trading in the past, but the hammer of justice has finally given him a suspended sentence with a fine of over $1 million.

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Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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