The prosecution in the trial of former Sega staffer Yuji Naka is pushing for a prison term of two years and six months, it has been revealed.
Naka initially stood accused of insider trading along with two other former Square Enix employees, Taisuke Sazaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, of 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. It was stated that the three suspects used the information to buy stock in the company with the purpose of selling it when its value increased off the back of the announcement.
Naka and Sazaki also stood accused of investing in developer ATeam after discovering the studio was to work on Square-Enix's Final Fantasy VII: First Soldier. Naka bought around ¥144.7 million yen ($834,000) worth of shares, which reportedly amounted to 120,000 shares.
During the first trial, Naka admitted to the charges, saying: "There is no doubt that I knew the facts about the game before it was made public and bought the stock." He attempted to pin the blame on an administrative mistake.
During the trial, the prosecution argued that the accused "gained unfair profits from a significantly more advantageous position than general investors, and undermined the fairness of the market." The defence demanded leniency and a reduction in associated fines and surcharges, claiming that the accused "did not actively browse insider information."
In the concluding trial, the prosecution has demanded a prison term alongside two fines: one of 2.5 million yen, and another of 170 million yen.
Naka joined Sega in 1984, working on titles such as Girl's Garden, OutRun (Master System port) and Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Mega Drive / Genesis port). He served as a programmer on Sonic the Hedgehog, the game which arguably transformed him into one of Sega's leading lights. He left Sega in 2006, founding Prope in the same year. In 2018, he joined Square Enix to form the subsidiary developer Balan Company. Naka's only game during his time with Square Enix was the critically-panned Balan Wonderworld.