Arma III devs arrested for espionage

Arma III devs arrested for espionage
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

September 12th 2012 at 7:12AM

Bohemia Interactive says developers were on vacation

Two developers vacationing on the isle of Lemnos have been arrested by the Greek government on suspicion of espionage, confirms Arma III studio Bohemia Interactive.

Arma III is set in the near future during a fictional military clash that finds its turning point on the Agean Island.

The game is a sequel to the series of popular military simulartions that began with Operation Flashpoint and has recently gained a new source of fame with the success of Arma II mod Day Z.

Government authorities accused the unnamed pair, aged 28 and 33 accoring to a Greek News247 report, of scouting the area and taking pictures and video of military facilites on Lemnos.

The developers argue that the pictures were necessary to enhance the graphics of Arma III.

"We can confirm that two Bohemia Interactive employees, our colleagues and friends, were arrested during their holiday trip to Lemnos," reads a statement on the BI forums.

"They visited the island with the sole purpose of experiencing the island's beautiful surroundings."

"Since its establishment in 1999, Bohemia Interactive has created games based only upon publicly available information. We always respect the law and we've never instructed anybody to violate the laws of any country. The same is true for Arma 3.

"Currently, all our effort goes towards supporting the guys over there, as well as their friends and families affected by this difficult situation. We sincerely hope that this is an unfortunate misunderstanding of their passion as artists and creators of virtual worlds."

This is not the first time local authorities have taken action over the actions of the Czech studio.

Last year Lemnos officials issued a statement decrying the use of the Island in a military themed shooter.

"We cannot fathom that our island, a place of peace and creation, will be turned into a scene for violence and battle," said Lemnos Mayor Antonis Hatzidiamantis as reported by the AFP.

"We reserve our legal rights to defend our island's reputation," he said.

He was joined by the local municipal council head Costas Adamidis, who framed the issue as a question of national security.

"There are national reasons to keep certain areas on the island secure bu they are shown in high-definition," said Adamidis.

"There could possibly be problems with national security."

Another official pointed to the proximity of Turkey as the reason the island is so sensitive about military secrecy.