LAPD confronts Call of Duty ‘Ghost’ statue in tense standoff
(POLYGON) The offices of Los Angeles based independent game studio Robotoki were stormed by the Los Angeles Police Department after a curious designer pressed the building’s “panic” button, studio founder Robert Bowling told Polygon.
The 911 response ended in a tense showdown with a life-sized statue of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2‘s Simon “Ghost” Riley, which the police mistook for a gunman.
Earlier today reports circulated that the studio had been the victim of a “swatting” prank, in which a third party tricks law enforcement authorities or emergency services by providing details of a made-up threat, triggering an emergency response dispatch to the target of the prank. Swatting pranks are not limited to 911 calls; swatters can spoof a victim’s phone number, obtain and use a victim’s personal information or hack phone and computer systems.
Bowling clarified that it wasn’t a prank, but the mischievousness of an unnamed designer that brought the LAPD to his door.
“Our studio is equipped with a ‘panic’ alarm in case of an armed threat, which was installed yesterday,” Bowling said. “One of our designers, who shall not be shamed, pressed it on his way out because apparently when boys find buttons that they are unsure of, their first instinct is to push it.”
Bowling said the panic alarm was installed as a precaution to protect his team, “as game developers receive their fair share of death threats.” He noted that Robotoki hasn’t had any issues with threats, but it is something Bowling is familiar with from his days at Infinity Ward.
“So after pushing it, everyone went home for the day, leaving their lonely studio head to receive the assault of their actions,” he added.