Legendary Sega designer Yuji Naka is reportedly among a number of people in Japan who were arrested on insider trading charges related to a Dragon Quest game announcement.
According to reports, the scandal is related to a studio called Aiming, which in 2020 was announced as the developer of a new Dragon Quest game, called Tact.
Former employees Taisuke Sazaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, as well as Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator and “Balan Wonderworld” director Yuji Naka have been named as suspects.
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It is alleged that the three apparently bought stock in game developer Aiming right before the company announced it was making “Dragon Quest Tact.” They reportedly used the inside info to jump on the stock before the value rose.
Who is Yuji Naka?
Yuji Naka, 57, is a Japanese video game programmer, designer and producer. He is the former head of the Sega studio Sonic Team, where he was the lead programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog series on the Sega Mega Drive.
He has spearheaded development on games including Nights into Dreams (1996), Burning Rangers (1998), Sonic Adventure (1998) and three games in the Phantasy Star franchise (1987–2000).
In 2006, Naka left Sega to found Prope, an independent game company.
Naka also worked under Square Enix to direct Balan Wonderworld (2021).
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In 2018, he joined Square Enix with the aim to develop social mobile games. However, producer Shinji Hashimoto encouraged him to develop classic action and platform games. This led Naka to approach Naoto Ohshima, with whom he collaborated to develop this project.
On December 22, 2021, Naka released a free mobile game, Shot2048, similar to the games 2048 and Chain Cube.