Yuji Naka Balan Wonderworld
Image: Square Enix

The trial of former Sega superstar and Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka has now concluded, with the developer being sentenced to two years and six months in prison, suspended for a period of four years. He has also received fines of two million and 171 million yen (over $1 million USD).

According to the social media account SEGAbits – working from a translation of a Yahoo Japan news story – Naka's suspended sentence is due to him showing "remorse" for his actions. Nonetheless, he remains on probation and could be sent to jail if he breaks certain rules within those four years.

This brings to an end a trial which saw Naka and two other ex-Square Enix staffers accused of purchasing shares in the Japanese developers Aiming and Ateam after learning that the duo were involved in the production of Dragon Quest Tact and Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier respectively.

The men were accused of using their insider knowledge to purchase the shares with the aim of selling them later to make a profit – something Naka himself admitted was true during the trial.

Naka rose to fame with Sega, working first on the company's 8-bit consoles before moving to the Mega Drive / Genesis, where he helped to create Sonic the Hedgehog. Naka would head Sega's internal Sonic Team, and also produced titles like NiGHTS: Into Dreams, Burning Rangers and Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg.

In 2006 he left Sega to establish Prope (Let's Tap, Ivy the Kiwi). His most recent work was 2021's much-maligned Balan Wonderworld.

[source nintendolife.com]