In 2027, the Illuminati create an artificial “glitch” in the software within augmented people. In response to this glitch, LIMB International (through Illuminati pressure) issue a replacement biochip that the Illuminati intend to use to shut down augmentations at will. Unbeknownst to the Illuminati, Hugh Darrow (one of their own members), goes against their intentions and alters the biochip from its original purpose. With the correct signal, Darrow can now cause the mechanically augmented to lose control of their actions and act violently.
Due to his resentment of mechanical augmentation, Darrow wishes for there to be severe restrictions on the technology. He views his altered biochip as a way to change the public's attitude on augmentations. For this reason, he broadcasts the signal during a televised event from Panchaea in the hope that the ensuing frenzy will catalyze a global change in public opinion.
The incident is resolved by Adam Jensen who shuts down Darrow's signal at Panchaea. However, before he can do this, the drastic effects of this disaster have already been felt worldwide.
- Žofie Růžička (President of the Czech Republic) - drowned in the Vltava River after her augmented bodyguard lost control and drove her limousine off into the river.
- Daniela King (wife of the Picus TV host Titus King) - killed by their augmented son Sebastian when he lost control.
- Harrison Stacker's wife and daughter - killed by him when he lost control.
- William Taggart - either killed by augmented people in Panchaea or died during Panchaea's destruction. Officially considered missing.
- Hugh Darrow - either killed by augmented people in Panchaea or died during Panchaea's destruction. Officially considered missing.
- David Sarif - gravely wounded during Panchaea's destruction, ultimately survived.
Following the millions of deaths and injuries during the Aug Incident, Darrow's wish is realized: mechanical augmentation is viewed as a threat to humanity. As a result, augmented people are segregated from the rest of society and placed in slum-like ghettos, such as Golem City, as a result of laws being introduced such as the controversial Human Restoration Act. In addition, many augmentation manufacturers, such as Sarif Industries, collapse in the wake of the disaster. Tai Yong Medical is one of the only, if not the only, surviving manufacturers powerful enough to purchase Sarif's patents and other company assets.