The Dutch developer of Ridiculous Fishing has reported the theft of a bag containing laptops, tablets, and a PlayStation Vita devkit complete with code for its upcoming game Luftrauser.
Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail told Polygon about his stolen backpack, nicked from the Figueroa Hotel’s pool bar.
Inside the bag were two iPads, a PlayStation Vita, a Vita test kit, and a Kindle Fire along with his connectors and cables.
Ismail said the theft was no surprise to the authorities.
"When I said a bag with hardware was stolen they said, ‘Are you down for the convention?’" he said.
"Apparently, there had been quite a few reports about stuff that was stolen."
Apparently the show has become a magnet for local thieves, who recognise an opportunity to snag some top-dollar items from the tech-savvy attendees in unfamiliar surroundings, a fact the security team was well aware of.
"They actually mentioned that it was likely people had been targeting people that were at the convention," said Ismail.
Polygon itself reported the loss of a bag containing camera equipment, and noted that it wasn’t alone when reporting the theft.
Despite this, the ESA said reports of stolen items were “minimal” this year.
"Our security team and attendees did an excellent job in securing valuables on-site," said an ESA spokesperson.
"There were minimal occurrences this year and we appreciate everyone’s vigilance in following common sense procedures."
Conference goers should be advised that the game industry attracts a lot of attention and as almost all attendees carry some desirable tech with them this means the event is likely to attract thieves.
For a small indie studio like Vlambeer the damage from such a theft could easily have been catastrophic, but their work backing up files beforehand prevented the worst of the damage.
"Basically everything Vlambeer is in the bag, so it kind of feels like Vlambeer got stolen," said Ismail.
“We have good backups. We take good care of everything, We’ve got decent backups to continue working. It’s just a giant pain."