It’s probably easier to steal code from video game developers instead of from, say, banks or organizations funded by the military. I’m basing this assumption on how I’m pretty involved with video games but lack physical strength and have a proclivity to cry for no reason. I also just used the word “proclivity”, causing the meager amount of testosterone holding on my newly grown back-hair to flush from my system like so many drops of dew down the stem of a jostled tulip.
So, given the dozens of ripe, poorly defended video game developers at PAX East, why would a code thief target the one developer that not only works directly with military and intelligence organizations, but is also owned by a firm that is funded by the CIA? Maybe the thief wanted a challenge. Or maybe the pay for the job was too high to pass up. Or maybe the thief was a video game nerd with a track record of making bad decisions.
According to Joystiq, who has done some great investigative work into this story, an attendant at PAX East tried to steal the game code for Breach from the Atomic Games booth on the show floor. The staff at the Atomic Games booth managed to stop the thief after he downloaded some of the code onto his laptop and tried to flee into the crowd.
David Tractenberg, a spokesperson for Atomic Games, stated that the thief “..did admit to us several times, including as he was doing it, that he was stealing the code.”
Ah, so the thief went for the ol’ “I’m stealing from you right. this. second.” approach. A ballsy move that usually only works in movies that have titles starting in “Oceans.” Maybe the thief was trying to distract the booth staff while he stole the code, but instead of yelling “LOOK OVER THERE” he yelled “I’M STEALING YOUR GAME. I mean. .. fuck.” A mistake any one of us could have made.
Since, like I mentioned above, Atomic Games works closely with military organizations, they caught the thief and had him thrown in jail. Joystiq wrote that “the suspect spent four hours in jail, and his laptops, modded Xbox 360, modded PSP, modded DS and XMP3 were confiscated by police.” Let this be a lesson for all you would-be thieves out there — get rid of your incriminating collection of modded video game consoles before attempting a poorly executed code theft. Also, a XMP3? Really?
My favorite part of this story is how Joystiq tracked the guy down on Xbox Live and reported that the thief claims he wasn’t trying to steal the Breach code. The suspect claims that he was just trying to get online because the wireless at the convention center wasn’t working. So when the guy was telling the staff of Atomic Games that he was stealing their game, he really meant that “I’m trying to steal the wireless but there’s a breach, so I’m just going to steal your internet connection.” Sorry, that’s the best sentence I could come up with to try and make that situation make sense.
The suspect (I think I’m supposed to be using that word because this guy hasn’t yet been convicted of being a thieving moron) also might be working for some bumbling organization of inept nerds struggling to steal game code. According to David Tractenberg, after being caught by the crew at Atomic Games, the suspect “..said several times he ‘knew people’ and ‘could give us bigger and more important people’ and he could ‘name names.’” Man, that guy sure flipped quickly, huh? I guess the worst thing that happens to a snitch in a video game code stealing gang is that he gets his shiny Pokemon released or something.
I’ll keep you guys updated with all the latest breaks in this story.
[Update] – Video game supervillain Justin May, known across the Internet as “The Breach Thief” skipped bail and has a warrant out for his arrest. Joystiq is reporting that May MAY be involved in a heated Modern Warfare 2 match and unable to step away from the console to keep from ruining the rest of his life.