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Montreal police promise investigation after hostage threat at Ubisoft Montreal building confirmed as hoax

Montreal police evacuated the offices of video game developer Ubisoft Montreal on Friday afternoon in response to a 911 call about a hostage situation that was later confirmed to be a hoax.

“The police operation in connection with a hostage taking call is over,” reads a tweet written by the Montreal police department. The investigation, however, has not concluded; police are looking into the source of the 911 call.

Ubisoft Montreal took to Twitter following the events, to express their gratitude to the police’s “quick and professional” response, and for the “support and kind words” the company received.

“Following the reports of an incident in the studio earlier today, November 13, we are relieved to confirm that all of our team members in Ubisoft Montreal are safe and have been evacuated from the premises,” reads an additional statement from Ubisoft to The Post. “We commend the strength and solidarity of all of our team members in this complex and stressful situation. We are grateful for the prompt response of the police and local authorities. We will continue to provide our teams with all the necessary support to cope with this traumatic event.”

Earlier on Friday, police cordoned off an area near the corner of Avenue Saint-Viateur and Saint-Laurent and urged the public to stay away from the Mile-End district near the studio, local media reports detailed a possible hostage situation. With tactical units arriving on the scene, the police evacuated a large number of people remaining both inside and on the building’s roof before determining there was no threat.

Early reports from TVA Nouvelles touched off concern when it suggested a hostage situation, spawning reaction online from Ubisoft employees and those in and around the video game industry.

Video footage from the scene showed a large number of people gathered on the building’s roof with what appeared to be barricades blocking doorways to the building, which houses multiple businesses besides Ubisoft.

Ubisoft Montreal employees have been working remotely from home during the covid-19 pandemic, with some recently returning to the office on a voluntary basis.

Amanda Coletta contributed to this report.

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