And additional hoaxes have been made since then.
The hostage hoax that saw armed police rush to the offices of Ubisoft Montreal while dozens of employees barricaded themselves on the rooftop for safety was the work of a notorious Rainbow Six cheater, says a new report by Canadian newspaper La Presse.
According to court documents obtained by La Presse, the catalyst for last year’s police response was a hoax call from an individual claiming that five men had taken 40 employees hostage at Ubisoft – and that they would “blow up everything” if demands for a $2m ransom weren’t met. Employees were later safely escorted off the premises as police continued to investigate the scene, but La Presse reports the incident didn’t mark the end of the caller’s malicious campaign.
In December, for instance, an individual allegedly claimed to have placed a bomb near the daycare facility within Ubisoft Montreal’s offices, while another call in January claimed a senior Ubisoft employee had been shot in the head following another hostage incident. In both cases, the police are said to have made more “discreet” checks instead of immediately launching a major operation such as the one seen in November.
A final call to Ubisoft just a day later reportedly saw the same individual threaten to continue terrorising the company after an attempt to impersonate a Rainbow Six designer and gain access to their corporate account failed. At the time, the caller is said to have demanded Rainbow Six keys and the commands needed to ban people.
According to La Presse, Ubisoft and Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) believe the person responsible for the hoaxes is French citizen Yanni Ouahioune – who, under the names ‘Yannox keyboard’ and ‘Y4nn0XX’ has been banned from Rainbow Six more than 80 times. However, although Ouahioune is said to have admitted to being involved in a swatting incident – and has been formally accused by French police of setting up a fake Ubisoft site to steal account details from other Rainbow Six players – he has denied any involvement in the hoaxes.
Ouahioune told the paper (via Google translate), “I didn’t do anything. I just cheated in their video games. The only time I called Ubisoft was to insult them for banning me [from the Rainbow Six game]”.
GamesIndustry.biz reports an SPVM representative, when asked if Ouahioune had been charged with anything, confirmed police are working to identify and arrest one or more suspects. However, La Presse claims that, even if the investigation remains active, it’s unlikely the police will formally accuse Ouahioune of making the hoax calls in Quebec, given that France does not extradite its citizens.