Japanese outlet Automation has reported that two Square Enix employees were arrested by Tokyo Police for suspected insider trading.
The arrest was in relation to the money they’ve invested in Aiming Co, a third-party developer ahead of the public reveal that it would work on Dragon Quest Tact, a Dragon Quest spinoff which launched in 2020.
And although Automation identified the employees as Fumiaki Suzuki and Taisuke Sasaki, both of whom have technical production credits and special thanks on several Square Enix games like Final Fantasy 14, and NieR Automata, Fuji News Network has reported that Yuji Naka, co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog and director of Balan Wonderworld, has been arrested by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office in connection with the insider trading case
Similar to the two previously arrested suspects, Naka is accused of purchasing Aiming Co shares before it was announced that the developer was taking on a profitable contract to develop a Dragon Quest mobile game.
Nakia allegedly purchased about 10,000 shares worth about 2.8 million yen. Although it is yet to be disclosed whether Naka or the other suspects have sold their shares.
Both Sasaki and Suzuki were allegedly aware of Aiming Co’s unannounced collaboration with Square Enix from internal sources at the time they bought 46 million yen (about $335,000) worth of Aiming Co’s stock. Considering how popular and acclaimed the Dragon Quest series is in Japan, their investments are estimated to have paid off profitably as Aiming Co’s value is set to increase after their high-profile project was announced.
Square Enix went on to release a public statement on November 17 on the matter where it said that it’ll “fully cooperate with the investigation to clarify the facts.” Adding that it’ll be “taking disciplinary action against the former employees,” and closed off by asserting that it will strengthen its internal measures to detect and prevent future insider trading by employees.