Sections
Best Places to Work graphic

Making the games industry a better place to work

Find out more
Best Places to Work graphic

Bungie exec swatted

Police respond to 911 call claiming an active hostage situation at developer's home

A Bungie executive was the victim of a "swatting" hoax yesterday, according to Komo News. Around 4 a.m. Thursday, officers responded to a 911 call of a hostage situation at the executive's home, mobilizing a SWAT team and helicopter in the process.

According to police, a 911 caller claimed to be holding the family hostage with a rifle after having set explosives throughout the yard. He was demanding $20,000 to let them go. The police responded to the call, and within an hour had determined that the hostage situation was bogus, and that the executive and his family were safe.

A Bungie spokesperson told the station that the executive was fine, but he didn't want to talk about the incident.

The police believe the person who called in the hoax is involved in the gaming industry, with one deputy suggesting a disgruntled contractor or someone at the office "who didn't have a great experience with him." The caller could face up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

"This is not a game," Sammamish Police Department Chief Nathan Elledge said. "This is a very serious response that could've had serious consequences and we're just fortunate that didn't happen this time. It puts officers' lives at risk when you respond to something this serious. It puts the citizens' lives at risk."

This Bungie executive joins an unfortunately long list of people in the gaming industry subjected to threats this year. In August, Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley had his flight diverted after a group claiming responsibility for various hacking attacks tweeted about a bomb on his plane. Last month, a developer threatened to kill Gabe Newell on Twitter because he was unhappy with the way Steam was treating the launch of his game. Another bomb threat briefly disrupted work at Gearbox last month, though police eventually said it had nothing to do with the developer. Finally, Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, and Brianna Wu have all received death threats over the course of the GamerGate saga.

Best Places to Work graphic

Making the games industry a better place to work

Find out more
Best Places to Work graphic

More stories

Composer Marty O'Donnell found in contempt of court over Destiny assets

Former Bungie audio director to pay almost $100,000, violates previous lawsuit

By Danielle Partis

Bungie speaks out against toxic studio cultures following Activision lawsuit

Destiny studio admits some staff have experienced harassment but says "we never excuse it or sweep it under the rug"

By James Batchelor

Latest comments (2)

Wow. This sort of behaviour is so beyond the pale! I really hope whoever was responsible is found and if they really were a dev, that they never work in games again. What a reprehensible act.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 7th November 2014 5:14pm

7Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany6 years ago
I still don't get why this Hoaxers never get caught. USA police is amongst the best in the world and are able to follow all short of leads... except a phone call to their own call central?
Is this because of some kind of privacy law?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.