Bohemia Interactive closes a tough year with ArmA 3 delayed into 2013

arma 3

Bohemia Interactive’s military simulator ArmA 3 will not be out by the end of 2012 as planned. The studio announced on Thursday morning that it would delay the game into 2013, but didn’t specify when.

“In what might be described as an eventful year, Bohemia Interactive has decided to postpone the release of ArmA 3,” explains the announcement, “The additional development time enables the project to reach its full potential, with the studio expecting to finalize their release plans in the New Year.”

Eventful doesn’t quite begin to cover it. The Czech developer has had a year wild of ups and downs. The surprise success of DayZ, a zombie apocalypse-themed mod, saw sales of its parent game military simulator ArmA 2 skyrocket.  Bohemia said in May that ArmA 2 sales had increased “500 percent” thanks to the release of DayZ’s early alpha version. DayZ proved so popular that Bohemia Interactive brought on the game’s developer to help turn it into a full commercial game.

Those bright spots were blemished by internal staff upheavals and a number of other incidents. First, ArmA 3 project leader Daniel Musil left Bohemia Interactive before the game was finished, leaving it in the hands of company veteran Joris-Jan van’t Land. If that weren’t enough disruption for the development of the game, two ArmA 3 staff members were arrested while vacationing in Greece. Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta were imprisoned in September after being accused of espionage by Greek authorities. The two were recently denied bail and remain in reportedly poor living conditions.

Shortly after Buchta and Pezlar were arrested, the unreleased and unfinished ArmA 3 made headlines after getting banned in Iran.

Now, right as the ArmA series has gained a broad new audience, ArmA 3 has been delayed to some unidentified point in the future and Bohemia Interactive has missed out on potential holiday sales. The standalone release of DayZ could hopefully pick up the slack in its absence, but with just over two weeks to go in December, it looks like that game will miss 2012 as well.

DayZ creator Dean Hall said at the end of November that the game could be pushed into 2013. “We are still working towards a target for an initial foundation before the end of the year,” said Hall, “But we will slip this date if needed, we will not compromise the project for the short-term gain of meeting this date.”