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Rainbow Six Siege cheater sentenced for swatting Ubisoft Montreal offices

French gamer gets three years of community service from Paris court

People are evacuated from the Ubisoft office as Montreal police respond to a possible hostage-taking at the Ubisoft office. Photo: Andrej Ivanov/AFP via Getty Images
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

The French gamer responsible for a hoax hostage call that evacuated the Ubisoft Montreal office in November 2020 was sentenced this week in a Paris court to three years of community service, according to the Montreal Gazette. Ouahioune’s three-year sentence includes punishment for several other charges related to a DDoS attack on a French government office and against Minecraft developer Mojang.

Twenty-two-year-old Yanni Ouahioune made the false report to police on Nov. 13, 2020, claiming that hostages had been taken within the Ubisoft office in Montreal. A police tactical unit arrived in armored vehicles and evacuated the building. Other employees took refuge in barricaded rooms and on the building’s roof before discovering there was no threat. The Ubisoft Montreal building in the city’s Mile End neighborhood can house thousands of workers.

Court documents later revealed that Ouahioune was a Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege player upset that he’d been banned from the game, allegedly more than 80 times. Later, it was revealed that he’d swatted the studio — the act of making a false emergency call to send a heavy police response to the victim’s address — two other times, and harassed other players in the same way.

Ouahioune used a computer in his parents’ home and routed the hoax calls through Russian servers, The Montreal Gazette said. Even after being charged, Ouahioune asked Canadian newspaper La Presse to unban his Rainbow Six Siege account: “Can you say that I am kindly asking the Ubisoft team to ‘unban’ my account please,” Ouahioune said. “I have put over $1,500 in cosmetic enhancements in my profile.”

The Montreal Gazette reported that Ouahioune will be required to “compensate victims, undergo treatment for a mental health problem and either work or undergo training” as part of his sentence.

A Ubisoft representative acknowledged the court’s decision in a statement to Polygon, without commenting on the punishment itself. “In this trial we were committed to representing the interests of our employees who were affected by this false hostage taking alert at our Montreal studio,” they said. “It was important for us to denounce this violent and unacceptable incident. Out of respect for our employees who were affected by this event, we will not comment further.”

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