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Sonic the Hedgehog Co-Creator Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Charges

Yuji Naka, co-creator of the iconic video game character Sonic the Hedgehog, has pleaded guilty to insider trading charges filed against him last year. The charges stemmed from his purchase of shares in game studio Aiming before it was publicly announced that the studio would team up with Square Enix on Dragon Quest Tact. Naka has admitted to violating Japanese financial laws and making a profit of over 20 million yen (about $150,000) after selling his investment.

Naka, who had signed on with Square Enix in 2018, left the company shortly after his mobile platformer Balan Wonderland was released. He sued Square Enix for removing him as director of the game six months before its launch. It was during his time with the company that he learned of the Dragon Quest Tact project.

Two other former employees, Taisuke Sasaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, were also arrested for insider trading in relation to the Aiming shares. Square Enix has stated that it is cooperating with investigators and has established measures to prevent insider trading in the future.

The guilty plea by Naka is a stern warning to developers who may be tempted to use insider knowledge to manipulate the stock market. It highlights the importance of transparency and ethical business practices in the gaming industry.

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