Yuji Naka, best known for co-creating Sonic the Hedgehog and for the absolute trainwreck that was Balan Wonderworld, has been arrested again for alleged insider trading. This time, the purported offense pertains to ill-fated mobile battle royale game Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier.
According to Japanese news platform Asahi (we're using machine translation for this article), Naka, along with fellow former employee Taisuke Sasaki, was arrested on suspicion of violating Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, which forbids insider trading.
Specifically, Naka is accused of buying shares in Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier developer Ateam ahead of the game's announcement, with both Naka and Sasaki allegedly earning "hundreds of millions of yen in combined profits". If that's true, it would be another textbook case of insider trading, which isn't going to look good for Naka being as he's been here before.
If you need a refresher, Yuji Naka was originally arrested for insider trading last month. He, along with two other employees (one of whom was the aforementioned Taisuke Sasaki), allegedly bought shares in Dragon Quest Tact developer Aiming prior to the announcement of that game. Again, this hasn't been proven yet, so both the original offense and this new allegation remain just that: allegations.
Just in case you don't know, insider trading is when an employee of a company uses insider knowledge of that company that isn't available to the general public to make money from stock trading. It's a crime because it creates an unfair advantage for the employee; they can make trading decisions others can't, so the trading field isn't level.
It remains to be seen whether Yuji Naka will be proven guilty in court or not, or whether more insider trading allegations will surface. It might be tempting to say that Yuji Naka's reputation has been irreparably damaged by these back-to-back scandals, but honestly, it's hard to imagine any reputation remaining after Balan Wonderworld (although Naka himself has sued Square Enix over the direction of that game). We'll bring you more on this as it develops.