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Former Sonic boss Yuji Naka admits insider trading - reports

Case involving shares worth £865k now in court.

Yuji Naka, the former boss of Sega's Sonic Team, has reportedly admitted a charge of insider trading over the ownership of shares worth around £865k.

In December last year, Naka was accused of violating financial laws after it was reported that he had purchased a large number of shares in Japanese mobile developer ATeam while employed at Square Enix.

It was alleged that Naka had done so in the knowledge ATeam was working with Square Enix on mobile game Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier - a fact which had not been made public.

Today, in a Tokyo courtroom, it's reported that Naka admitted the charge.

Naka's most recent project, Balan Wonderworld.Watch on YouTube

"There is no doubt that I knew the facts about the game before it was made public and bought the stock," Naka said, as reported by Japanese news sites TBS and NHK (thanks, Time Extension).

Naka also faces a further charge of insider trading relating to shares bought in developer Aiming, albeit for a smaller amount (around £16.8k). Aiming was, at the time of Naka's purchase, reportedly making a Dragon Quest mobile game that was not yet known about in public.

Others also face similar charges, including long-time Square Enix developer Taisuke Sazaki, who holds credits for his work on numerous Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts projects.

While most famous for his work on Sonic, Naka worked with Square Enix for a brief spell between 2019 and 2021, creating the underwhelming platformer Balan Wonderworld.

In April this year, Naka revealed he had sued Square Enix over his exit from the company, and accused the publisher of booting him off the project before it released Balan Wonderworld in an unfinished state.