Police confirm Ubisoft Montreal incident was a hoax [Update]

Specific details about the fraudulent 911 call have not yet been revealed

Update 13/11/2020 at 7:51pm ET: Montreal police have confirmed that a 911 call concerning a potential hostage situation at local game developer Ubisoft Montreal was a hoax.

In a statement, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) noted that no injuries have been reported and no threat has been discovered. Earlier in the day, dozens of specialized officers arrived at the scene in response to the call. Now, police operation in that area of the city has ceased, although investigation remains underway into who placed the call.

SPVM says evacuees are being directed to where they can provide a statement to investigators, with a team of social workers on hand to provide support.

On social media, Ubisoft Montreal also issued its first official statement on the incident.

Ubisoft also provided the following statement to MobileSyrup:

“Following the reports of an incident in the studio earlier today, November 13, we are relieved to confirm that all of our team members in Ubisoft Montreal are safe and have been evacuated from the premises. We commend the strength and solidarity of all of our team members in this complex and stressful situation. We are grateful for the prompt response of the police and local authorities. We will continue to provide our teams with all the necessary support to cope with this traumatic event.” 

For now, SPVM is asking anyone with information on the fraudulent to call 911 or Info-Crime Montréal at 514-393-1133 or submit a tip online. All information can be provided anonymously.

Update 13/11/2020 at 5:39pm ET: According to CBC News, police have confirmed that a 911 call that resulted in officers mobilizing around Ubisoft Montreal was a hoax.

The specifics of the hoax are currently unclear, although no injuries have been reported as a result of it.

Update 13/11/2020 at 4:04pm ET: According to TVA Nouvelles’ sources, the incident is reportedly a false alarm based on a malicious phone call.

Montreal Police have also tweeted that “no threat has been identified” and that they are currently evacuating the building.

The original story reads as follows:

Montreal police are reportedly carrying out an operation near Ubisoft Montreal’s office on St-Lauren Blvd, according to Journal de Montréal. Some reports indicate that the police presence relates to an ongoing hostage situation.

Several videos and photos shared on social media Friday afternoon show the video game developer’s office being blocked by police cars and officers with shields walking on the sidewalk. Some Ubisoft staff are on the building’s roof as seen from helicopter footage captured by TVA Nouvelles.

Journal de Montréal says the Ubisoft employees it has spoken with outside of the office have been in contact with their colleagues taking refuge on the roof. TVA Nouvelles says that there are no reports of injuries, according to a spokesperson for the Montreal Police. The publication says that as of 2:52pm, it still has not ruled out the possibility that the situation is a hoax.

Ubisoft Montreal adopted a work-from-home policy early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. Roughly 4,000 Ubisoft employees typically work from the studio.

Police are requesting that people avoid the area of the city near St. Laurent and St. Viateur.

Valérie Plante, the mayor of Montreal, says her team is in direct communication with the Montreal police. Plante urges people to avoid the area.

Ubisoft sent the following statement to MobileSyrup regarding the ongoing police presence at Ubisoft Montreal.

‘We are aware of the situation and working with local authorities.”

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Journal de Montréal, Montreal Gazette