Back in November 2022, Yuji Naka was embroiled in an insider trading scandal that occurred while he was employed at Square Enix, and today he apparently admitted guilt.
A small recap for the uninitiated: Yuji Naka was employed at Square Enix from 2018 to 2022, and during that time, he allegedly utilized insider information from working with Square Enix to game the stock market for his friends and himself in an effort to accrue funds by purchasing shares of Aiming, Inc before major announcements.
Being an insider at Square Enix, knowing privileged information such as the announcement of Dragon Quest Tact, and investing in video game stock using that information literally defines insider trading. In December, the plot thickened with more insider trading from Yuji Naka, this time with the impending Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier announcement. Today, the fallen from grace developer admitted guilt.
The Japanese news outlet NHK reports on the first trial indictment, and by using loosely Google translated statements, the outlet states, “an insider trading case involving game development by major game company Square Enix has been held for the first time and has admitted to the content of the indictment, saying that there is no doubt about it,” regarding the trial, but it’s worth mentioning this is a Google translated report, so there may be some localization flaws from the statements.
While the critical flop Balan Wonderworld was in development, Yuji Naka, who was then working on the title, allegedly used his influence at Square Enix to poach privileged information from other teams — Dragon Quest Tact, FFVII — in order to line his pockets with stock market gains. While the report mentions Yuji Naka admitted guilt, it remains to be seen as to whether it was a plea towards guilt or if the admission was formal in the first place. Fans will have to wait and see what happens next regarding this unfortunate incident.