The Tokyo District Court sentences the former head of Sonic Team with a fine of more than 16,000 dollars, and an additional one of more than 1 million dollars, in addition to a prison sentence.
In what was one of the most surprising and crazy news of last year, Yuji Naka, absolute legend of the video game industry (co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog), was arrested by the authorities in the city of Tokyo.
The reason? Insider trading at Square Enixthe company he was working for until the disastrous launch of Balan Wonderworld, his 3D platform game.
Yuji Naka stormed out of Square Enix, claiming that they fired him without letting him finish development on the game. But it seems that his stay was more than profitable.
The first arrest was due to Naka, as well as another Square Enix developer, acquired shares of Aiming, a study that was working on Dragon Quest Tactin collaboration with the Japanese company.
Their plan was to profit enormously from this illegal move, as Aiming’s stock value skyrocketed when its collaboration with Square Enix was revealed… something that Yuji Naka and his colleague knew in advance.
The prison sentence (and fine) that Yuji Naka faces
But the ”Naka” plot did not end there. Months later, Sonic’s co-creator was arrested for the second time… because he and his partner they did the same with ATeam Entertainmentstudio that was working on Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier.
Once again, Naka sought to profit from this move, classified as “insider trading” under Japan’s penal code.
According to the Japanese newspaper Denfanminicogamer, the District Court of Japan has already shared the judgment of the case…and it’s not encouraging for Yuji Naka. Seeing is believing, many of our readers will think.
Yuji Naka has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison, so you will have to serve the sentence (the maximum limit without penalty is two years). But it is also accompanied by two large fines.
The first of these is a fine of 2.5 million yen (more than 16,000 euros)but pay attention to the additional fine proposed by the prosecutor: 170 million yen, which is 1.14 million eurosmore or less.
Yuji Naka’s lawyers seek to reduce both sentences, especially the mitigating prison sentence (which would drop from two years).
A key aspect to not consider the requests of your lawyers is that, Apparently, Yuji Naka “does not regret” what he didespecially for his monumental anger at Square Enix.
We will have the final sentence, after appeals, next July 7th. Yuji Naka, the creator of Balan Wonderworld and Sonic could go to prison this summer, unless his lawyers manage to reduce the sentence. What is your opinion?