Ubisoft Montreal staffers barricade on roof amid possible hostage situation

by 24USATVNov. 13, 2020, 9 p.m. 27
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A potential hostage situation is reportedly taking place at the building in which game developer Ubisoft's Montreal office is housed.

A group of suspects are reportedly holding tens of people hostage at Ubisoft Montreal, according to local (French-language) media outlet LCN. The situation reportedly began around 1:30pm Eastern Time.

Montreal police confirmed that there is an "ongoing police operation" at the intersection where Ubisoft Montreal sits, adding, "We ask people to avoid the area. The SPVM is currently validating information and more details will follow."

Montreal mayor Valérie Plante confirmed that her office is coordinating with the police and monitoring the situation and echoed the police's request for everyone to avoid the area.

According to Radio-Canada (story in French), police were dispatched to the scene following a 911 call reporting a robbery in a nearby commercial building.

Live-streamed footage from an LCN helicopter showed a group of people together on the roof deck of the building behind a makeshift barricade seemingly constructed of folding tables leaning against the access door. Developer Eric Pope confirmed in a Tweet that the individuals on the roof were indeed Ubisoft employees, saying, "This is insane. This is my team on the roof."

Staffers were escorted from the building's lower floors at roughly 3:30pm Eastern Time, while other staffers remained barricaded on the building's roof. It is still unclear as of press time whether the incident was prompted by a physical intrusion in or near the studio's Montreal offices, or a false threat. In a later update on Friday, SPVM indicated that "no threat has been identified."

When asked about the reports, an Ubisoft representative offered the following statement to Ars Technica: "We are aware of the situation and working with local authorities."

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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