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Bohemia Interactive Devs arrested on Lemnos

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Bohemia Interactive's thirst for realism seems to have unfortunately gotten two of their developers in trouble with Greek authorities after they were arrested on suspicion of "espionage"

on the island Lemnos, the setting for the upcoming title Arma 3

Greek reported (machine translation)

Czechs arrest for espionage in Lemnos

Curious Case of espionage in Lemnos. Those arrested claimed that photographing camps for electronic game "Arma 3". Ongoing investigations

news247 September 10 2012 20:53

On charges of espionage arrested two Czechs, aged 28 and 33, at noon Sunday at the Platy Lemnos by officers of AT Myrina.

In testing conducted on the camcorder and camera that were with them, were videotaped and photographed camps and other military facilities on the island.

Against the file formed and led the Misdemeanour's Prosecutor Mytilene on charges of espionage.

As argued by the defendants, were working for the company Bohemia Interactive and the photos they took it "enriches" the graphics of the video game «Arma 3» played in Lemnos and Agios Efstratios.

and BIS have now posted a statement:

Developers Arrested On Lemnos

We can confirm that two Bohemia Interactive employees, our colleagues and friends, were arrested during their holiday trip to Lemnos. They visited the island with the sole purpose of experiencing the island's beautiful surroundings.

Since its establishement 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.

On behalf of the Bohemia Interactive team,

Marek Spanel, CEO.

Understandably the Greeks are hypersensitive about their military and there have been numerous cases (like the UK pane-spotters) where things that may be viewed as "normal" in other countries are treated with great alarm and suspicion by the Greek authorities so it was foolish/naive of the BIS folks to video/photograph military items on the island when they should have known to be been extra careful or just not to do that.

and BIS statement that they "were solely on Holiday" is a further poor choice, given the material found on them which was no doubt intended for the game,

unless they mean that BIS didn't officially request them to collect any material or pay for the trip which they seem to be hinting at overenthusiastic "passion as artists"

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Nope, serious as it gets for those two

Given their history with the Turks Etc the Greeks understandably get really twitchy about people looking at their military items and certainly about recording it in any fashion

Speaking as someone who has lived and Bird-watched on a Greek Mediterranean island for many years it's something you rapidly learn, to not stand looking at camps/items (or even in ones general direction) and to make sure binoculars, telescopes & cameras are packed away and never in use/view when driving passed Greek camps or observation posts or vehicle convoys pass

and it's something BIS should have been well aware of

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Both sideds arguments are valid in this case, i know its a mission on its own to take "pictures" of any sort of military site..

Funny stuff, God bless Bohemia interactive :)

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Thats how awesome BIS is. They will GO TO FREAK'N JAIL in order to make maps for YOU.

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The Greeks understandably get really twitchy about people looking at their military items and certainly about recording it in any fashion

[...]

it's something BIS should have been well aware of

Yeah, particularly since the island authorities already made a statement condemning BIS's activites shortly after the game was announced. If the arrested guys were aware of that and they were trying to be covert with their photography, that might make it look even worse.

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Thats how awesome BIS is. They will GO TO FREAK'N JAIL in order to make maps for YOU.

loooooool Game deving gone next level!!!.. This prob makes EA and Ubisoft look like a bunch of choir boys

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I remember ten years back or so a number of brits were arrested over there for the same thing. What's curious is they understandably or not were said to be taking pictures of military installations, however from what I can deduce, lemnos is within a de-militarized area, there was/is a treaty is place, if all being true not so sure why there are military bases there anyway. Indeed given the tensions within the region its understandable, one person pointed out that when viewing the airport from google earth you could clearly see a military arm of the airport itself, so clearly they are serious in what they do, as for espionage...as mentioned here the government condemned arma 3 being set there so possibly they could just be getting their own back, still seems blury weather or not they were breaking the law, but don't forget this is part of a firm linked to bohemia simulations and in that you'd think some political backup with the likes of the US/UK buying their product VBS.

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Reading this kinda makes me sick on how about how far people have to go to impress critics and target audience.. At the end of the day its just kids playing COD 4 or BF3, who prob want their enemies as real as osama or saddam, lets keep takin em back to the gulf.

ooh nowadays we have to make the base realistic as possible and the OPFOR base dumbed down as possible. Lets just pretend their bases are mud huts and caves.

I mean BIS arent even gonna use the real names of the real locations anyway, BIS will use made up name that prob sound alike, like Takistan (based on Pakistan). BIS generally base their bases on modern times, so you have more freefom and free roam working around it.

Just a random thought..

Edited by squad_e

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Indeed, but I wouldn't say its just younger people playing games such as BF3 or COD who want real targets or enemies, just in arma 2 itself there have been hundreds of authentic addons created by the community (which has a predominately older gaming community and many ex military folk) which depict real life locations and enemies or playable opfor, I personally greatly enjoy the variation because it creates a new atmosphere, one moment you can have generic usmc in takistan vs 'militia' but with the download of a mod your in Chechen as a rebal fighting the russians, I think these types of addons cater to all age group especially the older ones as this maybe their respective area of interest in military history.

As you mentioned previous instalments have never used real world locations, but more real world data i.e chernarus was based on an area in the czech republic, so it will be interesting if they do indeed carry on the trait or actually start using place names , it appear that this time it could be the latter as its already called limnos which of course as we know is indeed a real place.

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As you mentioned previous instalments have never used real world locations, but more real world data i.e chernarus was based on an area in the czech republic, so it will be interesting if they do indeed carry on the trait or actually start using place names , it appear that this time it could be the latter as its already called limnos which of course as we know is indeed a real place.

Exactly, its like they show their respect to the mother lands that have been "bombed" by real WAR to respect the civilian lifestyle also...

I would love BIS to make a UK based rural/urban "playground" too. Or something US based Like NY, bet that would be a good challenge to see.

BIS use a clever method to make the game more enjoyable, allowing you to edit more openly with your mission creation kit and modding tools.

I also love how BIS get more players and modders without making it mainstream, underground FTW.

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