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ArmA Developers Arrested While Scouting Military Base [UPDATED]

Company confirms two employees arrested, other details remain vague.

ArmA has always been a respected series, but zombie mod Day Z has given it a huge spotlight.

UPDATED: Bohemia Interactive has released a new statement about today's developments, which I've featured in full below.

"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 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."

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Two employees from ArmA III developer Bohemia Interactive have been arrested while undergoing research for its upcoming game, reports Greek news organization News 247.

The two employees, ages 28 and 33, were not named, but were apparently scouting a military base and taking photos on the Greek island of Lemnos. The location was to be a setting for ArmA III.

Bohemia Interactive CEO Marek Spanel confirmed the reports on the game’s official message board.

“This is true,” said Spanel.

“We prefer this topic not to be discussed on our forums atm [at the moment],” he continued, “at least until we know more specific details about the case so I am going to close this topic and our moderators are going to close any related dicussion [sic] here, thank you for understanding.”

The ArmA series has received an enormous amount of attention in the last few months, thanks to the spectacular and surprising rise of the Day Z mod, built upon the last game, ARMA2.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
ArmA has always been a respected series, but zombie mod Day Z has given it a huge spotlight.

UPDATED: Bohemia Interactive has released a new statement about today's developments, which I've featured in full below.

"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 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."

--

Two employees from ArmA III developer Bohemia Interactive have been arrested while undergoing research for its upcoming game, reports Greek news organization News 247.

The two employees, ages 28 and 33, were not named, but were apparently scouting a military base and taking photos on the Greek island of Lemnos. The location was to be a setting for ArmA III.

Bohemia Interactive CEO Marek Spanel confirmed the reports on the game’s official message board.

“This is true,” said Spanel.

“We prefer this topic not to be discussed on our forums atm [at the moment],” he continued, “at least until we know more specific details about the case so I am going to close this topic and our moderators are going to close any related dicussion [sic] here, thank you for understanding.”

The ArmA series has received an enormous amount of attention in the last few months, thanks to the spectacular and surprising rise of the Day Z mod, built upon the last game, ARMA2.

Staff
Posted by Witzig

bummer

Posted by Sanity

I know its not supposed to be funny but man that brought some intresting pictures of 2 guys talking real fast and sweating like crazy.

Posted by Fleck0

Scouting foreign military bases is the kind of thing one gets permission for beforehand.

Posted by The_Nubster

Yeesh, embarrassing.

Posted by Dezinus

If only they had seen those ENEMY MAN ahead...

Posted by leebmx

Oh God, what idiot goes around taking photos of military sites and expects not to be arrested? I would have loved to see them trying to explain themselves when the MP turned up.

'No honestly, we are just taking pictures of your top secret base so we can model it in 3d and sell it to people. No reason to be alarmed.'

Posted by Sooty

This is pretty hilarious when you think about it.

Posted by Funkydupe

Oh no! 2. Is Down.

Posted by beepmachine

I hope they're okay but man, what the HELL where they thinking?

Posted by AuthenticM

@dennisthemennis said:

I hope they're okay but man, what the HELL where they thinking?

Exactly. They should have asked for permission beforehand.

Posted by reelife

Target-That-Enemy-Developer-Right-To-Our-Front

Posted by TheHT

well, at least it's Greece, right?

Edited by OneillLBC

Marek Spanel.....not Maruk (its nick name)

And most correct version is Marek Španěl :D

Posted by GalacticPunt

I hope this works out, and they are let go with just a slap on the wrist.

But either way, those guys just won the Darwin Award for video game development!

Posted by MarkWahlberg

Turns out they were actually trying out a new 'collect intel' mission type to test how it's responded to in real life, so that they can get the AI scripting as accurate as possible.

@leebmx said:

Oh God, what idiot goes around taking photos of military sites and expects not to be arrested? I would have loved to see them trying to explain themselves when the MP turned up.

'No honestly, we are just taking pictures of your top secret base so we can model it in 3d and sell it to people. No reason to be alarmed.'

"It's just a military sim anyway, our audience would only be using the base for practicing co-ordinated assaults and stuff."

Edited by forkboy

Greeks have a history of doing this sort of gross over-reaction. Remember this story, tourists, plane spotters, AT AN OPEN DAY on a Greek air force base were arrested on espionage charges. Who were they spying for? I mean I don't see Britain & Netherlands planning on invading Greece any time soon, what with all nations involved being bloody NATO members.

Just ridiculous. I fear for the Bohemia employees unfortunately.

Posted by Rocospi

Seems like a situation that could of been avoided if they told someone beforehand.

Edited by SasquatchRuby

Similar thing happen with some British plane spotters in Greece in 1977 and 2001. It was a big story in the UK at the time with UK consular involvement. It was hard to believe the Greeks really thought these were spies and perhaps played it for politics.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/12/newsid_2518000/2518385.stm

Posted by totaboy

People that dumb should be locked up.

Posted by vikingdeath1

Wait... I thought this was a News worthy because these two guys were on a tour of a military base taking photos and just up and got arrested..... But did they REALLY not get permission from the base to take pictures??? Well no fuckin Shit you'd get arrested! You could get arrested for taking pictures in an airport or a bank and these idiots.... (sigh) no, nevermind, Poor guys I hope they get released soon.

Posted by CptBedlam

Yeah, taking photographs of military bases without permission is probably not a good idea.

Posted by Shortbreadtom

I'm calling it, news of the year 2012

Posted by mekon

Using Google Maps would have been far less hassle.

Posted by Brodehouse

I bet it's a big flat area with large cylindrical buildings and long sheets of concrete. Possibly with sparse scrub brush scattered throughout and a big chainlink fence on the perimeter. Do you really need to location shoot for an air force base?

Posted by Mister_V

@forkboy: I was going to bring this up. They do have history of doing this as you say. It's all a bit pathetic really.

Online
Posted by Patman99

They obviously should have picked the spy class.

Edited by TheDudeOfGaming
I say they're foreign spies posing as game developers, a bullet to the head each!

Well, those days are long gone, 'cept North Korea.

Posted by MonkeyKing1969

If there is a military base where you live, you have to know people get arrested or detained by base security all the time. Just as people get picked up for speeding, running red lights, stealing sandwiches at 2AM from a closed deli. The fact of life is people get caught doing some weird stupid stuff every second of the day.

Posted by dr_mantas

It's all too real, man...

Posted by iAmJohn

Can't wait for the "escape from a Greek military prison" level in the next ArmA II expansion.

Posted by Winternet

This is exactly what I expect from the ArmA guys.

Posted by iGooner7

Developers are treating the Simulation very seriously! Dangerous but hats off! Respect!

Edited by Aetheldod

Well they got lucky ... in Mexico the military actually shot 2 US embassadors because someone forgot to mention they were coming to see a Navy base by invitation (they survived)

Posted by AlexW00d

@patrickklepek: GG on spelling Marek Spanel's name wrong.

Posted by Zatoichi_Sanjuro

This was a controversy before they were arrested. Turkey and Greece have been in a cold war for decades now. Basing a mil-sim on a real Greek Island, where everything is mapped out, including Greek defences, is obviously going to ruffle feathers. And it did.

I wouldn't be surprised if this arrest was a way to leverage BIS into changing the layout of their island model. Either way, a very foolish thing to be caught doing ...even if the mil-sim enthusiast in me finds the attention to detail admirable.

Posted by AkIRA_22

Well this is probably the most stupid thing I've heard in a long time. C'mon guys, this is an illegal activity in every country on earth. BI have got a lot of explaining to do, or there has been a mix up.

Posted by kerse

@CptBedlam said:

Yeah, taking photographs of military bases without permission is probably not a good idea.

yeah...

Posted by Palaeomerus

@AuthenticM said:

@dennisthemennis said:

I hope they're okay but man, what the HELL where they thinking?

Exactly. They should have asked for permission beforehand.

Yep. And if the military says YES you probably get a tour, a free lunch, instructions on how not to get into any legal trouble while working, and maybe sigificant help like say a hydrology map of the island to work with. And if they say NO then you don't get arrested.

Posted by Oni

For some reason this is fucking hilarious to me. I don't know, it's just so perfect!

Posted by buckybit

HARD CORE MIL SIM! 1UP!

Posted by Turambar

It'll be hilarious if the news breaks out that it had nothing to do with the military side of things, and the two guys sent there just got drunk and rowdy in a strip club.

Online
Posted by Krakn3Dfx

Best Outcome: "Luckily, law enforcement clipped into a wall, got stuck and the game developers easily escaped as a result of the system glitch."

Posted by JerichoBlyth

I know you want to make your Army Simulation title authentic and all guys but c'mon - draw a line!

Posted by Rincewind

If they were pirates they could have turned into a bird and flown away from the cops.

Posted by natetodamax

Yeah, scouting a military base is generally a very bad idea. Hopefully this all gets sorted out soon.

Posted by OriginalGman

@Rincewind said:

If they were pirates they could have turned into a bird and flown away from the cops.

They could have turned into a single bird, Voltron style? What is this referencing? One Piece?

Posted by Chtasm

Two bucks says there'll be a custom scenario made for ArmA III that depicts the rescue of two journalists/photographers from a military base.

Posted by EquitasInvictus

That's a really awkward situation for Bohemia Studios, especially considering they've built simulators specifically for the U.S. Military in the past. You'd think they'd have better experience in dealing with militaries, even if the one in this case is foreign.

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