Former Square Enix employee arrested on suspicion of insider trading

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office has announced the arrest of a former Square Enix employee along with an acquaintance on suspicion of insider trading, as reported by The Sankei News and TBS News Dig.

According to reports, Square Enix employee Taisuke Sazaki (38) and their acquaintance Fumiaki Suzuki (40) were arrested for unfairly acquiring stock in Aiming, a company developing mobile games alongside Square Enix. Recent efforts from Square Enix and Aiming include titles like Gestalt Odin and Dragon Quest Tact.

The two were arrested under suspicions of purchasing around 47 million yen (roughly $336,780) of stock in Aiming before it was publicly revealed that they would be working with Square Enix on a certain game. In other words, using undisclosed information for insider trading.

According to Nippon TV NEWS, they are suspected of purchasing stock in Aiming before it was officially announced that the company would be working on Dragon Quest Tact.

The name Taisuke Sazaki appears in the credits of games like Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age and SaGa: Scarlet Grace for work relating to middleware, though it’s unclear if this is the same person. The name Fumiaki Suzuki also appears in the credits of Dragon Quest X Online as an event programmer.

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[UPDATE 2022/11/17 15:55 JST]
Square Enix has released a statement regarding the news:

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.

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-11-17 12:41 JST)