Why Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Yuji Naka has been arrested

Yuji Naka was arrested by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office late on Friday. He’s accused of buying shares in Tokyo-listed online gaming company, Aiming Inc (TYO: 3911) when he had insider knowledge that the company was going to announce the release a new game co-developed with Japanese entertainment giant, Square Enix (TYO: 9684).

It’s alleged Yuji Naka, 57, purchased around US$20,000 worth of Aiming shares in January 2020. At the time he was employed by Square Enix.

The new game was announced in conduction with Square Enix around a month after the alleged illegal share purchase.

Between January 10, 2020 and February 14, 2020, Aiming’s share price soared by around 80 percent.

Naka was famously Head of the Sega Studios Sonic Team in the 1990’s and was lead programmer and co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog.

He is one of Japan’s most respected gaming programmers.

Any wrongdoing by Yuji Naka is yet to be proven by the courts.