Although it's not quite on the same scale as the Half-Life 2 source code theft at the end of 2003, developer Slitherine Software is presumably feeling similar levels of strain after the gold master disc for its forthcoming standalone Spartan expansion pack Gates of Troy was stolen recently.
According to the developer, the gold master disc was on its way back from the duplication plant in London by special delivery when it was half-inched. For the benefit of our foreign readers, 'special delivery' is a more secure postal service offered by the Royal Mail here in the UK, requiring a signature and offering a degree of online tracking. It's supposed to help safeguard against the loss of valuable items.
However, despite taking the precaution of using the special service, nothing could stop thieves physically assaulting the postman, one David Giles, and stealing the bags out of his hands as he approached Slitherine's Epsom head office. "Even in a relatively safe place like Epsom you can't be too careful these days," the postman, who was shaken but not hurt, reportedly told Slitherine representatives.
At the moment, the developer is hoping that its poor fortune isn't aggravated when the thieves discover what they have in their possession. "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," the company said in a statement. "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."
"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," Slitherine's Iain McNeil said of the incident. For more information on Gates of Troy, head here.