Two people have been arrested in an ongoing investigation into insider trading at Square Enix in Japan. Two former employees, Taisuke Sasaki, along with Balan Wonderworld creator Yuji Naka, are accused of insider trading when they received knowledge that Square Enix would partner with developer Aiming for smartphone title Dragon Quest Tact, and proceeded to buy shares in the company.
According to Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki and his translation of a FNN report, Naka “allegedly bought 10,000 shares of Aiming for 2.8 million yen back in January 2020” when he learned non-public information about the unannounced deal. Together with Sasaki, the two are said to have purchased 162,000 shares for 47.2 million yen.
Naka had a public falling out with Square Enix after the poor reception and performance of Balan Wonderworld in which he accused the company of pushing him out of the director’s chair after irreconcilable differences arose during development.
Square Enix recently released a statement, prior to the update of Naka’s involvement in which they confirm the investigation:
Concerning Media Reports on Former Employees under Investigation of Suspected Insider Trading [11/16/2022]
Today, some media outlets reported that the former employees of Square Enix Co., Ltd. (hereafter “the Company”) were under investigation for suspected insider trading. We have been fully cooperating with requests from the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission.
As the investigation by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is underway, we will continue to fully cooperate with their investigation.
We deeply regret the great concern this has caused to all concerned. We have dealt with this incident strictly, including internal disciplinary actions taken against the suspected employees.
We have established the proper management system for confidential information and have also set up a system to prevent insider trading, such as the obligation of prior notification when trading the Company’s stock and prohibiting the stock trading of the Company and listed companies that have the business relationship with the Company before important non-public information is disclosed. We have also worked to ensure thorough awareness of the regulations through employee training. Taking the recent incident sincerely, however, we will take further actions as preventive measures throughout the Company by further tightening internal regulations and conducting more thorough employee education programs.