Yuji Naka
Image: Square Enix

Update [Tue 27th Dec, 2022 19:55 GMT]: NHK has reported that both Yuji Naka and Taisuke Sasaki have been formally indicted following their arrest for insider trading (thanks, Nintendo Everything).

Original Story [Wed 7th Dec, 2022 13:30 GMT]: The former Sonic Team head and former Square Enix employee Yuji Naka has been arrested again over alleged insider trading, as reported by the Japanese website Asahi (and VGC).

Last month, another Japanese site named FNN Prime Online previously reported that Naka had been arrested in relation to an insider trading case along with two other former Square Enix employees: Taisuke Sazaki and Fumiaki Suzuki.

In that case, the three suspects had allegedly acquired stock in the Japanese developer Aiming, before it was publicly announced that the studio was working on the new Dragon Quest mobile title, Dragon Quest Tact, for the publisher. It was alleged at the time that the three suspects had, therefore, used insider information to buy stock in the company with the purpose of selling it when its value increased off the back of the announcement.

Now, Naka has been arrested again, it's currently being reported. This time in relation to another mobile Square-Enix title: Final Fantasy VII: First Soldier. According to the Asahi Report, It's alleged that Naka and Sazaki invested in the game developer ATeam based on confidential information that Square Enix would later be partnering with this studio. When Naka learned about this, he's claimed to have then bought around ¥144.7 million yen ($834,000) worth of shares, which reportedly amounted to 120,000 shares.

In response to the previous allegations last month, Square Enix stated that it was working with the authorities and issued the following response:

"We deeply regret the great concern this has caused to all concerned. We have dealt with this incident strictly, including internal disciplinary actions taken against the suspected employees."

We'll update you as more developments occur.

[source asahi.com, via videogameschronicle.com]