UPDATE: Yuji Naka Reportedly Arrested Again For Another Insider Trading Scheme

Update, 12/7/2022: Balan Wonderworld director Yuji Naka has been re-arrested on a second charge of insider trading, this time involving the mobile battle royale title Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier. 

Last month, Naka and former Square Enix employee Taisuke Sazaki were arrested on suspicion of buying shares in developer Aiming after learning in advance about the team’s announcement of its mobile game Dragon Quest Tact (see the full original story below). Japanese outlet Asashi (thanks Video Games Chronicle) now reports that Naka and Sazaki are believed to have tried a similar scheme for the reveal of Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier.

Ashai notes that in February 2021, developer Ateam and Square Enix announced a partnership to develop the mobile battle royale title. Naka and Sazaki are said to have known the details of this deal before it became public and bought shares in Ateam in hopes of profiting off a higher stock price stemming from The First Soldier’s reveal. 

Naka is reported to have purchased 120,000 shares for approximately 144.7 million yen (roughly over $1 million). Sazaki is accused of buying 91,000 shares for approximately 105 million yen ($767,000), as well as passing this insider information to an acquaintance who also acquired shares. The investigation is ongoing so it’s unclear where things will go from here, but Square Enix previously stated it’s fully cooperating with the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission and Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office. 

In October, Square Enix announced it was shutting down Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier on January 11. 

Original Story, 11/9/2022: Legendary Sonic designer and Balan Wonderworld director Yuji Naka has been arrested in Tokyo in connection to an insider trading investigation involving the reveal of a Dragon Quest game. 

According to the Japanese news outlet FNN, the last 24 hours saw ex-Square Enix employee Taisuke Sazaki and his friend Fumiaki Suzuki arrested on suspicion for insider trading. In 2020, developer Aiming had been set to announce its mobile game Dragon Quest Tact, and Sazaki and Suzuki are alleged to have known details about the game before it was publicly revealed. The pair reportedly purchased a combined 162,000 shares of Aiming for roughly 47.2 million yen (or over $335,000) in advance with the intent of profiting on a potentially higher stock price stemming from Tact’s announcement. 

Yuji Naka is now suspected of being involved in this scandal as well. He is accused of purchasing 10,000 shares worth 2.8 million yen (roughly $20,000) in Aiming for the same purpose of profiting from Tact’s reveal. Naka was apprehended by Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, and the investigation is ongoing. It’s currently unknown if the suspects still own their shares or if they already sold them.  

This is the second major controversy Naka has found himself involved with this year. In April, Naka publicly blasted Square Enix on Twitter over his removal as director from Balan Wonderworld prior to its release, blaming Square for the game’s critical failure. This outburst came after the conclusion of a lawsuit he’d previously filed against the publisher. Naka is best known as the lead programmer behind the original Sonic the Hedgehog games for Sega Genesis and Nights into Dreams. 

[Source: FNN]

Never Played Mario + Rabbids? Nintendo’s Video Guide Is Here To Help

Sparks of inspiration.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope came out a little over a month ago now and was instantly met by high praise indeed (scoring 8/10 in our review). If the first game in the series is anything to go by, then we can see this sequel being something of a sleeper hit thanks to some nice eShop discounts in the coming years. If, however, the urge to get involved hasn’t gone away in the past month (despite a pretty intimidating looking battle system) then Nintendo’s newest video guide has your back.

Similar to what the company set out to do with its Splatoon 3 tutorial video back in August, here Nintendo breaks down everything that you will need to know about Sparks of Hope before purchasing. This includes a whistle-stop tour of the movement mechanics, weapon types, Spark abilities and enemy attacks. Revision starts now, we guess.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

CD Projekt Red lists Witcher 3 mods that will continue to work with next-gen update

CD Projekt Red has provided a list of mods that will work with The Witcher 3 when the next-gen update lands.

According to the developer, it checked several of the most popular mods to see if they will work after the update. So far, 71 mods will work, but the studio also notes that while the list may not be 100%, it gives you an idea of what to expect (thanks, PC Gamer).

The mods are listed on this spreadsheet, and next to them are the folders where they can be found. It even lists whether the mod is compatible with the update.

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Pokemon Go December Community Day weekend will feature all sorts of Pokemon

The next Pokemon Go Community Day will take place over the weekend of December 17-18, allowing you to catch Pokemon featured during previous Community Days.

The weekend will see featured Pokemon from 2021 and 2022 appear more often in the wild and in Timed Research. Pokemon featured in Community Day events throughout 2021 will hatch from Eggs and appear in raids and Timed Research.

December Community will run from 2-5pm local time on both days and will feature the following bonuses: 2× XP, Candy, and Stardust for catching; 1/2 Hatch Distance; 2× chance for Trainers level 31 and up to receive XL Candy; Lure Modules will last for three hours; Incense (excluding Daily Adventure Incense) will last for three hours; one additional Special Trade can be made, and Trades made during the event will require 50% less Stardust.

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Microsoft Commits To Bringing Call Of Duty To Nintendo Post-Activision Acquisition

Call of Duty Nintendo

In the wake of Microsoft’s ongoing acquisition of Activision Blizzard, one of the most contentious arguments against it has been Call of Duty’s continued presence on PlayStation platforms. Xbox head Phil Spencer has repeatedly promised that the juggernaut franchise will still appear on its main rival’s platforms, but that hasn’t stopped Sony from touting the loss of the series as anti-competitive to stop the deal from going through. After saying he had no problem keeping Call of Duty on Sony hardware for the long term, Spencer has now extended and formalized that promise to Nintendo and Valve. 

Last night, Spencer announced on Twitter that Microsoft has entered a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty back to Nintendo. In a follow-up tweet, Spencer states the series will remain on Steam as well. Of course, all of this hinges on the approval of the publisher’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which continues to be scrutinized in ongoing approval processes from government regulators. 

Call of Duty has yet to appear on Switch, and the last entry to launch on a Nintendo platform was 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts, which appeared on Wii U. The series won’t have a new entry in 2023, and by then the acquisition should be complete, assuming it’s successful. Thus, it’s unclear when we can expect to see Call of Duty return to the house of Mario. In contrast to Sony, Nintendo hasn’t made much of a fuss about the Activision deal, and you could easily argue that Switch sales haven’t suffered from the lack of Call of Duty’s presence. Getting the franchise back certainly doesn’t hurt, though. 

In other recent Xbox news, the publisher announced it’s raising the price of first-party Xbox Series X/S games to $70 in 2023