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ArmA Developer Issues Update on Arrested Employees

Company has met with them, and sticks by story the duo were on vacation.

Original reports suggested ArmA developers were covertly researching for ArmA 3.

ArmA developer Bohemia Interactive is continuing to push back on early reports that two employees arrested while near a military base on the island of Lemnos were doing so for research purposes.

The company issued a new, lengthy statement this morning.

“Having travelled there, and after meeting personally with them both,” said the company, “as well as their lawyer who is fully acquainted with the Greek authority’s investigation file in detail, we can assure you that these insinuations are completely false and without substance.”

Bohemia named the employees, too: creative director Ivan Buchta and environment designer Martin Pezlar.

The company is sticking by its previous statement, which said the employees were on vacation. The reason for stopping by the military base was reportedly out of genuine interest.

“They took photographs and videos in public areas, as countless tourists arriving to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Greece may well do,” continued the statement. “These included a short video as they drove through the main road passing around the international airport, where in one short part of the video off in the distance some hangars and other buildings of the complex can be seen. It's very likely that many tourists may have pictures similar to those taken by Ivan and Martin in their own family albums, without being aware that they put themselves or their families at risk.”

Though the Lemnos base will be in the upcoming ArmA 3, Bohemia said the game’s version is only 75% of the island “and it does not attempt to display any real world military installations situated on the island of Lemnos.”

A statement from the employees was issued, as well:

“The conditions are tough, but the people we meet treat us fairly and correctly. It is all a completely absurd misunderstanding that will certainly be quickly explained. We mainly think of you, our families; you have to stay calm and not to worry about us. We hope we will meet soon."

It’s unclear when the employees will be released.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
30 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek
Original reports suggested ArmA developers were covertly researching for ArmA 3.

ArmA developer Bohemia Interactive is continuing to push back on early reports that two employees arrested while near a military base on the island of Lemnos were doing so for research purposes.

The company issued a new, lengthy statement this morning.

“Having travelled there, and after meeting personally with them both,” said the company, “as well as their lawyer who is fully acquainted with the Greek authority’s investigation file in detail, we can assure you that these insinuations are completely false and without substance.”

Bohemia named the employees, too: creative director Ivan Buchta and environment designer Martin Pezlar.

The company is sticking by its previous statement, which said the employees were on vacation. The reason for stopping by the military base was reportedly out of genuine interest.

“They took photographs and videos in public areas, as countless tourists arriving to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Greece may well do,” continued the statement. “These included a short video as they drove through the main road passing around the international airport, where in one short part of the video off in the distance some hangars and other buildings of the complex can be seen. It's very likely that many tourists may have pictures similar to those taken by Ivan and Martin in their own family albums, without being aware that they put themselves or their families at risk.”

Though the Lemnos base will be in the upcoming ArmA 3, Bohemia said the game’s version is only 75% of the island “and it does not attempt to display any real world military installations situated on the island of Lemnos.”

A statement from the employees was issued, as well:

“The conditions are tough, but the people we meet treat us fairly and correctly. It is all a completely absurd misunderstanding that will certainly be quickly explained. We mainly think of you, our families; you have to stay calm and not to worry about us. We hope we will meet soon."

It’s unclear when the employees will be released.

Edited by Legendary

Sucks, I hope they get released soon.

Posted by Nephrahim

Hopefully things work out. It does just sound like a misunderstanding, but maybe there's something that's not being said.

Posted by HKZ

Treating you fairly and correctly would be to compliment you on your choice of what to photograph, and send you on your way. Not locking you up for espionage. The utter stupidity of photographs somehow being dangerous if they are of military locations is rampant for whatever reason. I don't have a single photograph of any military flightline I've ever been on, but I could tell you exactly what was where, and how big it is. A photograph isn't worth shit compared to someone with a half decent short term memory. I guess the Greeks have never heard of satellites and a little known website called Google. Morons.

Posted by Draxyle

I can believe that. It's not out of the question that individual developers would be passionate enough to visit the actual places that they're hoping to re-create (these are hardcore sim games, after all).

Doesn't not make it a little bit dumb to do so, but I understand the temptation.

Posted by Nightriff

At least they aren't in Iran....

Online
Posted by Terramagi

"The conditions are tough, but the people we meet treat us fairly and correctly."

Yeah, burn that letter slightly and you're going to see "they cut off our legs" written in lemon juice.

Posted by bybeach

Sounds a little wierd either way it plays. Doubt they got any shots of something sensitive....were they past some kind of perimiter? Money maybe somehow involved with this, you use our buildings to demension, pay up?

Online
Posted by Talis12

so the Lemnos island is going to be in the game and the persons arrested are a creative director and an environment designer.. sure, i believe you when you say they were just on holidays.. and Activision isn't going to make another Call of Duty next year either

Edited by Phat2

arresting people for this shit is the definition security theater

Edited by PixelSoldier

While none of us know the full details of what happened, I am somewhat perplexed about their current incarceration. I'm in the military and have worked at locations that draw tourists, but where photography is prohibited. The most I have personally seen done to those who take photos having not seen the signs stating that photography is prohibited, or disregarded the signs and take pictures anyway, is that a member of base security stops the individual, explains the restriction and then either deletes the photos taken, confiscates the recording media or confiscates the camera. I don't know how the Greeks typically handle those situations, but it's their country and they can make their own laws regarding where photos cannot be taken in the interest of national security.

As to those saying that photography of military installations are harmless and that you could access photos of those locations on Google, I would say that satellite imagery and photos taken on the ground serve two very different ends. A picture of the area that you might find on Google may prove to you something exists, but a picture taken on the ground could potentially show you the number of guards, where they are positioned and how they turn over during a shift change. I don't mean to imply that these developers intended to learn anything like that, but the local base security has a responsibility to assume the worst.

Hopefully the situation will be resolved quickly and these two men can return to their families and homes soon.

Posted by Razorlution

These types of things aren't just misunderstandings. I believe the company is just playing its face card until it can figure out what is going on.

Posted by RazielCuts

Why don't they just confiscate the photo's/video tapes and be done with it? It is quite odd though that they were on 'holiday' and Bohemia are developing a game featuring Greece at the same time.

Edited by Smersh

Give it up Greece, everyone knows you can't afford to piss off zhe Germans.

Posted by ITSSEXYTIME

@RazielCuts: Not really, it could just be the guys were inspired by development on the game to visit the country itself.

Posted by Jace

Greece in charge of anything seems to be a complete joke.

Posted by EndlessLotus

At least they're being treated fairly well....

Posted by VengefulGiblets

Clearly, the Greek just thought that abducting their tourists and selling them back for ransom was the quickest way to make some money. But hey, what do you expect from a country that lied and cheated its way into the EU to begin with? Pretty much this.

Posted by CaptRocketblaze

This is why I don't take pictures/video of anything.

Posted by mlarrabee

@Terramagi said:

"The conditions are tough, but the people we meet treat us fairly and correctly."

Yeah, burn that letter slightly and you're going to see "they cut off our legs" written in lemon juice.

I laughed.

Posted by TiE23

@Lord_Pent said:

This is why I don't take pictures/video of anything.

This is why I'm planning on gouging my eyes out and living in a cave for the rest of my life.

Posted by BeautifulSpaceCowboy

Hope this all gets cleared up soon, for their sake and their families.

Posted by Shivoa
Edited by Coiledstring

I know the Greeks have an history of locking up plane spotters when they get too passionate about their hobby.

After all they have tensions with Turkey over Cyprus, and the occupation of the north.

Nato has a DMZ there
Posted by CaptRocketblaze

@TiE23: One down, billions to go... that's gonna be one crowded cave.

Posted by MattyFTM

I find it hard to believe that their trip wasn't motivated by research for the game. It may very well have been a personal vacation, but I'm sure conversations along the lines of "Hey, we should take a trip to Lemnos to see what it's like, since we're trying to recreate it in our game" happened.

Moderator
Posted by Atomicvideohead

That country is such a bureaucratic mess -- made even worse by the political instability. I doubt this will get settled for years, even if they are found innocent.

Posted by RoyCampbell

"Creative Director, Environment Designer"
"We weren't doing research, honest!"
 
Nothin' against those two gentlemen and the company itself, but I couldn't help but laugh at the predicament they're in and what they do for a living, to then claim they were there just chillin'.

Posted by chrismafuchris

Heh, Arrested Development

Posted by TwoOneFive

theyre doing a good job probably- i cant imagine how much theyre trying to trick them into signing statements and other bullshit... its really tough these guys might not be in some prison camp but theyre having a rough time for sure