Video game developers arrested in Greece for spying on military base

bohemia interactive arrested in greece

Czech developer Bohemia Interactive has had a solid 2012 so far. The runaway success of DayZ, the zombie apocalypse themed mod for its military simulators, brought massive mainstream attention to a line of games that has catered to a supportive but small audience. The company is hard at work on both the full version of that game as well as ArmA III, but the company’s smooth seas have grown choppy. Two developers from Bohemia’s ArmA team were arrested for “spying” in Greece.

The two unnamed employees, aged 28- and 33-years-old, were scouting locations for use in the next game on Lemnos, a small island in the Greek archipelago with a small population, some tourist trade, and one military air base. ArmA III’s primary setting, in addition to the Ai Stratis, is Lemnos and the developers were photographing that military base when they were arrested on Sunday under suspicion of espionage.

“We can confirm that two Bohemia Interactive employees, our colleagues and friends, were arrested during their holiday trip to Lemnos,” said Bohemia CEO Marek Spanel in a message on the developer’s forum, “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 III. 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.”

The arrests may be more than just a misunderstanding. In 2011, the Greek government protested Bohemia’s use of Lemnos in ArmA III, claiming that its appearance in a war game might interest the tourist trade that keeps the island’s miniscule economy running. The game could also pose a security threat by realistically recreating the terrain.

 ArmA III definitely has the potential to reach a wider audience than past entries in the series. The popularity of DayZ drove sales of ArmA II, necessary for playing the mod version of the zombie game, up a purported 500 percent in May.

CTK reported on Tuesday that the men have been transported to the island of Lesbos where they will be interrogated by a Greek prosecutor. The Czech government’s Greek consul Blanka Kovacsova is working to help the developers.

Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Gaming

Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

Fortnite V-Bucks being used by criminals for money laundering on dark web

Criminals are using Fortnite's V-Bucks for money laundering schemes on the dark web. Epic Games, apparently, is not doing enough to prevent the game from being used for the illegal activity.
Gaming

Relive the 8-bit gaming era with the best NES emulators for Android and PC

For years prior to the release of the NES Classic, emulators have offered a means to every NES game ever created without needing the console. Here are the best NES emulators for Android and PC.
Gaming

Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector’s Edition comes with a life-size Scorpion mask

The Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector's Edition will come with a human-sized replica of the mask of Scorpion, one of the most iconic fighters of the series. NetherRealm Studios has also announced the game's preorder bonuses.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Gaming

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.
Gaming

Goodbye, Machinima: YouTube gaming channel pulls the plug after 13 years

Machinima, a YouTube gaming channel that was launched in 2006, has suddenly shut down, with all of its videos set to private. The #RIPMachinima hashtag is now making the rounds in social media to reminisce about the channel's content.