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A Series of Unfortunate Thefts at E3

A series of thefts at E3 results in tighter security checks and no suspects.
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

 A bag containing valuable gear and game code was stolen from Sony’s post-show mixer at E3 early Thursday morning.

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The theft occurred at the Figueroa Hotel pool bar, a spot often frequented by developers. The bag, belonging to Rami Ismail, co-founder of indie developer Vlambeer, contained a laptop, several tablets, two Vitas, a debug kit and code for Vlambeer’s upcoming title, Luftrauser, among other things. 

Ismail had left his bag near a table and moved away. In mere minutes, the bag went missing, and with it, a large part of Vlambeer.

“Basically everything Vlambeer is in the bag,” he said in an interview with Polygon. “So it kind of feels like Vlambeer got stolen.”

Ismail filed a police report later on Thursday and was asked if he was in town for the E3 convention. When he said yes, he received an unpleasant surprise.

“Apparently, there had been quite a few reports about stuff that was stolen,” he said. “They actually mentioned that it was likely people had been targeting people that were at the convention.”

The news follows behind two more incidents of larceny. A bag containing camera equipment was stolen from Polygon’s E3 booth. The cameraman reporting the theft to security discovered other people were also filing complaints. Prior to this, a break-in at gaming website Giant Bomb’s LA studio occurred on Monday, adding to the stolen equipment count this E3. 

No culprits have been found in any of the thefts yet.

Entertainment Software Association officials issued a warning to press members to keep closer watch over their equipment and said that cameras had been stolen from the press room. At this point, E3 security tightened ID checks.

When asked to comment on this string of burglaries on Thursday, ESA officials called the incidents unusual and praised the security team’s efforts. “Our security team and attendees did an excellent job in securing valuables on-site,” an ESA spokesperson said. “There were minimal occurrences this year and we appreciate everyone’s vigilance in following common sense procedures.

Vlambeer is the developer of Ridiculous Fishing and Super Crate Box, and their latest multiplatform title is Luftrausers. Fortunately, Ismail isn’t too worried about the lost code. The developer has steady backups and this incident will not hinder progress on the game.  

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Girl, Canadian, caffeine worshipper, currently in school for book publishing. I like to write about games and complain about the lack of a good zombie RPG. You'll find me lurking on various game forums in various guises.