A developer saw two PCs stolen during Gamescom 2012 which contained alpha builds of two upcoming PC games.
With Gamescom 2012 currently underway in Germany, there's certainly a lot of traffic passing from booth to booth at the annual games expo. Publishers, developers and press alike are feasting in gaming goodness, smelling each others breath, and likely feeling the heat from thousands of bodies and gaming rigs. Divinity developer Larian Studios unfortunately is somehow missing two of the latter.
Bit-Tech reports that the developer is currently missing two desktop PCs that were located in the business area of the convention center. They contained alphas of both Dragon Commander and Divinity: Original Sin -- two PC games the developer was demoing at the show. How they suddenly came missing is unknown at this point.
According to the report, Larian Studios is now offering a $5000 USD reward for information leading to the successful return of these two desktops, or the identification of the party responsible for the theft. "We're asking the game community to band together to track these criminals down and to get the games back!" the developer said on Wednesday.
This certainly isn't the first trade show thievery. Joystiq reports that a thief attempted to copy early code for the game Breach from one of Atomic Studios' computers during PAX East 2010. The thief, Justin May, was arrested but skipped bail. He eventually agreed to show up for court in May 2010 and was placed on pre-trial probation. That meant he wasn't allowed on Xbox Live, and was forced to hand over his PC.
"Our request of the District Attorney was that they treat this case just as seriously as if Justin May had stolen some very expensive tangible goods," stated Atomic Games' president Peter Tamte. "In other words, we requested that they not treat the theft of intellectual property any differently than they would the theft of tangible property. It's my understanding that the path they have taken with Justin May is consistent with this request, and the DA's course of action was heavily influenced by the fact that Mr. May was caught before his theft could cause any damage. Had he been able to post Breach on the Internet for download, and then been caught, he would likely end up serving time in jail."
For anyone who has information about the current Larian Studios theft, the developer can be found at its booth at the Business Hall 4.2, Booth A-16. All upcoming titles will still be demoed thanks to backup PCs.