I don't play many PC games and I'm not familiar with the "Spartan" empire building games however, I am intrigued when the Gold Master of a "Spartan" expansion named, "Gates of Troy," is randomly stolen on the streets of London. You see, the gold master was travelling from the duplication plant back to Slitherine (the makers of "Spartan') headquarters when the Royal Mail Postman was mugged and his bags stolen. What the thief/thieves have on their hands, they may not know. They probably think that it's just some AOL offer. Seriously, though, Slitherine should be a little more careful with their gold master. I'm thinking private armed security for its transport. Anyway, an interesting story.
Confirmed - Gates of Troy Masters Stolen
Slitherine Software has been approached by a number of members of the press today about rumours that the Gates of Troy Gold Master has been stolen. Slitherine regrets that it must confirm the rumour is true, though at the moment the details are still sketchy.
Gates of Troy is a stand-alone expansion for Spartan, Slitherine's award winning turn based empire builder.
From what we know so far the gold master was on its was back from the duplication plant in London by special delivery for approval and sign off by Slitherine at its Epsom Head Office. At around 11:05 GMT the Royal Mail Postman was assaulted and his bags stolen.
David Giles, the Postman who was assaulted, was shaken up but not hurt and said, "Even in a relatively safe place like Epsom you can't be too careful these days."
At this stage there has been no official contact between Slitherine and the Royal Mail or Metropolitan Police and the only information we have comes direct from the Postman who was only moments away from making his delivery outside the Slitherine office. It is not clear whether the Postman was deliberately targeted because of what he was carrying, or if it was just a piece of extreme bad luck. It is hoped that it was a random attack and the thieves do not realise what they have or if they do, that they will not have the knowledge and ability to make any use of it.
Philip Veale at Slitherine Software said, "Obviously we're very upset about it and the delay this will cause to the release of Gates of Troy, but we are working hard to make up for the lost time this will cause and hope the fans can bear with us. We're also concerned about the possibility of a pirated version hitting the streets now before we can get the original copies of Gates of Troy ready."
This attack comes hot on the heels of the theft of the Half Life 2 source code and shows how vulnerable games companies can be. With many man-years of work on one CD it makes you realise how careful games companies need to be with their IP and source material.
Iain McNeil at Slitherine said, "It has been a wake up call to us and Slitherine will be reviewing its procedures in future to ensure the same type of thing cannot happen again."
Gates of Troy - http://www.slitherine.co.uk/Troy/TroyIndex.htm
Spartan - http://www.slitherine.co.uk/spartan/SpartanIndex.htm
About Slitherine: Created on the 4th of July 2000, Slitherine Software UK Ltd. is a privately funded, limited company. Slitherine Software is an independent UK developer & publisher of PC strategy games such as Legion, Spartan & Gates of Troy.