Gamer Tries to Steal Breach Code at PAX East, Gets Arrested

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Gamer Tries to Steal Breach Code at PAX East, Gets Arrested



An overly-enthusiastic gamer who allegedly attempted to steal the code for Atomic Games' Breach on the PAX East show floor was foiled and apprehended by authorities.

If you play a game at a show like PAX East 2010 and really, really like it, there are many ways to show your appreciation. You can go to a store like GameStop and preorder it, you can post about how much you loved it on forums to build hype, or you could send the developers a nice card and some chocolates if you want to be a bit too enthusiastic.

Or, if you're one PAX East '10 attendee in particular, you could try to steal the code for the game in question so that you and your buddies could play it well before it comes out. That's what allegedly happened with one gamer and Atomic Games' Breach, anyway - Joystiq has the full story [http://www.joystiq.com/2010/03/30/breach-game-code-theft-at-pax-east-ends-in-arrest/] and it's a doozy. To make it short: The suspected thief was spotted while connected to an ethernet cable at the Atomic booth, ran into the (very, very large) crowd, and was apprehended.

"The suspect did admit to us several times, including as he was doing it, that he was stealing the code. He said to myself and several other team members, after being caught, that it was not a big deal, he just really liked the game and wanted to play it with his friends," explained Atomic spokesman David Tractenberg.

However, the alleged thief maintains that the Atomic version isn't correct. He told Joystiq that he was merely trying to use the ethernet cable to get online at the Hynes Convention Center since the WiFi wasn't working (which, as anyone at PAX knows, is certainly a plausible turn of events). "They stopped me, checked my computer, and saw the Xbox Neighborhood application," he told Joystiq via Xbox Live. "Because that was on there, they accused me of stealing Breach, even though it's not on my computer."

The suspect's electronics - including "laptops, modded Xbox 360, modded PSP, modded DS and XMP3" - were confiscated by police, and he spent four hours in jail following his arrest, so if there is any trace of Breach there, it'll turn up sooner or later.

Tractenberg also said that despite the two conflicting stories (he was just trying to download it to play with friends / he was just trying to get online) the alleged perpetrator claimed he could give names of accomplices: "He said several times he 'knew people' and 'could give us bigger and more important people' and he could 'name names.' However, I have no idea if these people were on the show floor or just hackers at home," said the Atomic rep, adding that he "would hate to think he got someone's full code and their title is going to be compromised due to this guy."

"While it's a very unfortunate incident, it was a form of a compliment that he liked our game so much he risked a felony to play it early. Since we work with the military and intelligence communities, though, we had no choice but to have him arrested and protect our IP."

But oh wait, it gets even better: The very same suspect was at a panel earlier at PAX East with Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live, during which he asked if he could please have his Gamertag unbanned from the service. When asked why he'd been banned, the alleged thief said that he'd played Forza 3 early - and as it turned out, it had been an illegally downloaded copy of the game, too.

Okay, it's true that we do have the whole concept of "innocent until proven guilty" here, and should wait until the facts come out in a court of law... everything about this is fishy. You have conflicting statements about what he was doing from someone who had a bevy of modded consoles. You have someone who is not only a self-admitted pirate (bad enough in itself) but who is also dumb enough to illegally play Forza 3 online before release and then ask Stephen Toulouse if he could be unbanned for it.

If you're innocent, then I apologize in full, but I'm sorry, Mr. Suspect, you're getting no sympathy from me on this one.

Though let's be fair: Atomic is clearly at fault here, too. I mean, they named their game Breach - that's practically asking for it!

(Source and the full, crazy story: Joystiq [http://www.joystiq.com/2010/03/30/breach-game-code-theft-at-pax-east-ends-in-arrest/])

Update: Guilty von Dumbass [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/99555-Suspected-PAX-Breach-Code-Thief-Goes-Fugitive] has skipped out on his court date. Ouch.

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Awexsome

Were it so easy
Mar 25, 2009
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Download the code straight from the PAX floor? Well he's got balls I'll give him that. Probably a severe lack of brains will all the evidence and past history against him but balls nonetheless.
 

Quad08

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Oct 18, 2009
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I wonder if the Penny Arcade guys are going to make a comic based on this...
 

Cherry Cola

Your daddy, your Rock'n'Rolla
Jun 26, 2009
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This is such a sweeeeeet little thing that has happened.

That's Karma, *****!
 

Galad

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Nov 4, 2009
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Quad08 said:
I wonder if the Penny Arcade guys are going to make a comic based on this...
There's a lot of comedy material in this one, it should be just a matter of time :)
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Awexsome said:
Download the code straight from the PAX floor? Well he's got balls I'll give him that. Probably a severe lack of brains will all the evidence and past history against him but balls nonetheless.
I agree. Before, I though the Valve Hacker (AKA, The guy who gave us the Half Life 2 Beta) was a badass for hacking Valve. Well, no longer.
 

oppp7

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Aug 29, 2009
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There's always some kind of drama that occurs at PAX. Last eyar it was swine flu, and now some idiot tries to steal Breach.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Maybe a bit of thought would help next time.

And "But I want to play it with my friends!" is such a great defense. "Oh, you like the game, now do you? Feel free to steal it from us then!"
 

Treblaine

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Jul 25, 2008
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Galad said:
Quad08 said:
I wonder if the Penny Arcade guys are going to make a comic based on this...
There's a lot of comedy material in this one, it should be just a matter of time :)
Hell, he should be added as a recurring character, this guy has to be the ULTIMATE PIRATE!
 

FistsOfTinsel

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Jun 23, 2008
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You should fix your headline & story - the Joystiq story doesn't say "source code" but "code". I'm pretty sure that the gamer in question was not stealing source code - I doubt Atomic even had source code on their PAX demonstration machines. The source code wouldn't do him any good if he wanted to play the game at home with his friends, unless he had an XBox development environment.
 

Monshroud

Evil Overlord
Jul 29, 2009
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Wow... You gotta think you clang when you walk to try something like this. You also have to be an idiot to do some of the things that is stated to have been done...

Ask to be unbanned for playing a hacked copy before it was even released... Sheesh...
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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Awexsome said:
Download the code straight from the PAX floor? Well he's got balls I'll give him that. Probably a severe lack of brains will all the evidence and past history against him but balls nonetheless.
True. If anything he is brave but certainly very stupid.

Although, I am glad he got caught...and if the amount of modded stuff on him didnt point to him been a little guilty of something I am not sure what is.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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oppp7 said:
There's always some kind of drama that occurs at PAX. Last eyar it was swine flu, and now some idiot tries to steal Breach.
Anyone who's ever been to a convention will know there's always a convention flu :)
 

IckleMissMayhem

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Oct 18, 2009
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Idiot. Entertaining read though!! Makes me wonder how the hell he thought he was going to get away with it though. So now two companies have evidence he's a pirate... And he's been arrested for it, and had his toys confiscated by the police. Good luck to him trying to talk his way out of those little indiscretions(!!)
 

CezarIgnat

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Jul 5, 2009
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Who would want to steal this [http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/action/breach/video/6254201?tag=embedded_video]? I mean...it looks crappy and it's only $15. Why even try?