Early on Friday afternoon, a major armed police operation took place at the offices of Ubisoft Montréal, which concluded with the building being evacuated. The subject of the operation was not immediately known, but Montréal police have now confirmed (opens in new tab) that they answered a "call for a hostage situation" at the location. After entering the building, police found no hostage situation, and no one was injured.
"An investigation will follow to shed light on the call behind this important police force deployment," wrote the department.
The police operation in connection with a hostage taking call is over. No threat has been detected and no injuries are reported. An investigation will follow to shed light on the call behind this important police force deployment. #SPVMDetails ➡ https://t.co/dLBvQERo0n pic.twitter.com/LsnXoaVrzaNovember 14, 2020
When the operation began in the early afternoon, photos and live footage showed heavily-armed police outside of Ubisoft Montréal's office, and speculation over the cause spread on social media.
Some Ubisoft employees checked in on Twitter to say that they were safe. "I'm at the office, and I'm ok," wrote programming project lead Gavin Young. "Too many people messaging me to reply to everyone."
In live TV news footage, employees could be seen standing on the roof of the building with the doors barricaded.
The uncertainty was broken at 3 pm Eastern, when Montréal police stated that (opens in new tab) they were inside the building and that there were no injuries to report. At 3:50 pm, the department stated on Twitter (opens in new tab) that no threat had been found and that the building was being evacuated.
No threat has been identified for now. We are currently evacuating the building. #SPVM https://t.co/7g7eHU2B1TNovember 13, 2020
At approximately 4:20 pm, police could be seen escorting Ubisoft employees off of the roof in live footage from TVA Nouvelles (opens in new tab). The employees had their hands raised as they reentered the building.
pic.twitter.com/3fKlfoZMsiNovember 14, 2020
After the operation ended, Ubisoft Montréal posted a statement to Twitter (embedded above) confirming that no one was hurt in the incident.
"We want to salute the courage and composure our teams showed today, our focus remains on ensuring their health and wellbeing," wrote the studio. "We would also like to thank the SPVM for their quick and professional response, helping to bring the situation under control. We are extremely relieved this was resolved without incident and we'd like to thank you all for your support and kind words."
According to the Montréal police, the evacuated employees "are being directed to a place where investigators will take their statement." Social workers are also present "to support them as needed."