Sonic co-founder Yuji Naka received a suspended fine of approximately €1.1 million in Japan, as well as a suspended 2.5-year prison sentence. His probationary period will last for four years. Naka was found guilty of insider trading.
The 57-year-old Naka was accused of buying shares in game companies with which his employer, Square Enix, cooperates. By making these purchases before the collaboration became public, he was able to make a lot of profit on the shares. It’s about co-developer Aiming, who later made Dragon Quest with Square Enix. He later did the same with developer Ateam, who would make Final Fantasy.
According to the Japanese news agency Jiji Press Naka and his partner are said to have brought in “hundreds of millions of yen” with these practices. For example, 200 million yen is worth approximately 1.3 million euros.
Naka is credited to Naoto Ohshima as the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog, for Sega, in the 1990s. This character first appeared in the game Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Mega Engine. Naka has also been involved in making the games Nights into Dreams, Samba de Amigo, Puyo Pop, and Balan Wonderworld.
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