Sonic the Hedgehog Creator Sentenced to 2 Years Behind Bars

Yuji Naka, the man who created Sonic the Hedgehog, was given an 18 months long prison sentence in Japan after admitting to insider trading.

Naka was detained last year on suspicion of insider trading that reportedly took place while he worked for Square Enix.

The developer was charged with buying stocks in Aiming, Inc. and Ateam before news of mobile games based on two of Square Enix’s most well-known brands, Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, was made public.

Naka will also have to pay ¥2.5 million and ¥170 million in fines.

However, according to Denfanminicogamer, his attorneys are attempting to get those sums reduced.

Naka started working at Sega in 1984 and remained there until 2006. Naka was the original game’s principal programmer and a co-creator of Sonic.

While Naka contributed to some of Sega’s most well-known and loved titles, Balan Wonderworld dominated his time with Square Enix.

Balan Wonderworld was published in March 2021, and Naka joined the publication in 2018.

Following criticism of the game’s quality, Naka claims he was fired six months before the game’s release.

Given that the original Sonic the Hedgehog’s development was completed just 2 weeks before its debut, the game’s developer asserted that he wanted to continue working on it right up to its release.

Uncertainty surrounds what exactly transpired, but Balan Wonderworld was a critical and financial dud.

Naka acquired intimate knowledge regarding unreleased mobile games Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier and Dragon Quest Tact while he was working on the game. Several Square Enix staff members are said to have bought shares in the two firms before the announcement of the titles, and Naka was one of them.

It’s reasonable to suppose that both businesses would have experienced a large uptick following their official announcements, given the enormous popularity of both brands.

Ironically, Square Enix experienced a huge setback with Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier, and the game was discontinued this year.

Ionela Ghergus
Ionela Ghergus has been writing for multiple publications since graduating university in 2015. She strongly believes learning is a lifelong process so she has many interests and knowledge about a variety of topics she loves to share through her product reviews and guides. She is especially passionate about technology and how it constantly transforms the world we live in, which is why covering tech news and compiling best gadget lists is currently her biggest focus as a journalist.