Iranian officials block sales of upcoming military shooter Arma III

ArmA 3

When Bohemia Interactive’s ArmA III hits store shelves early next year you’ll be able to pop on down to your local electronics retailer and pick up a copy, assuming you don’t live in Iran. According to a report by Azerbaijani news site Trend, the military sandbox game has been banned in the Middle Eastern country due to its portrayal of Iranian forces; specifically that they would violently oppose NATO.

The storyline for ArmA III takes place in the year 2035, and sees NATO forces occupying Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. While players can choose to play as any faction within the game, the NATO troops are tasked with fighting off an invading group of Iranian Armed Forces soldiers, and it is this plot point that Iranian officials see as problematic.

Iran’s National Foundation of Computer Games has agreed to ban sales and imports of the game and has issued a statement calling for all applicable merchants and groups to keep ArmA III from appearing in Iran. 

It should be noted that this is not the first time Iranian officials have lobbied against the gaming industry. In 2011, EA’s Battlefield 3 was banned by Iran’s National Foundation of Computer Games due to an in-game scenario that tasked players with battling through Tehran’s Grand Bazaar. Despite this directive a number of stores continued to stock the game.

In a somewhat similar vein, Iranian-American Kuma/War developer Amir Mizra Hekmati was sentenced to death in Iran earlier this year for allegedly spying on the country as part of a CIA operation disguised by his video game development credentials. Iranian authorities claimed that Hekmati’s work in Iran was an effort to create propaganda videos and games to be distributed throughout the world. Thankfully as international support swelled, Hekmati’s death sentence was overturned and his life was spared.

It has been a rough month internationally for ArmA III’s developers. While scouting for locations in Greece, two developers from Bohemia Interactive, Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta, were jailed on suspicion of espionage. Some have claimed that the arrests were retaliatory, as sections of ArmA III are set in Greece.  

Gaming

‘The Division 2’ private beta kicks off February 7 on consoles and PC

The private beta for Tom Clancy's The Division 2 starts on February 7 and runs until February 10, Ubisoft announced in a new story trailer. To guarantee access to the beta, you have to pre-order the game on PS4, Xbox One, or PC.
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

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Gaming

Console wars are so last-gen. Check out all the games that support crossplay

Crossplay is still in its infancy, but a growing number of games support online multiplayer between competing platforms. Here's a list of all games that support console crossplay.
Gaming

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options.
Gaming

‘Mortal Kombat 11’ is even gorier and crazier than we expected

NetherRealm Studios unveiled Mortal Kombat 11 on January 17 and the game looks to be just as gory and over the top as fans have come to expect. Former MMA fighter Ronda Rousey will appear as Sonya Blade.
Gaming

Play your games whenever you want with a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridge-based games, but its internal storage may fill up quicker than you would think. Here's what you should consider when picking out a MicroSD card to expand your Switch's storage capacity.
Gaming

Get your pilot skills up to snuff for this week's 'Fortnite' challenge guide

The Fortnite season 7, week 7 challenges are now available. The major challenge this week requires you to visit all the Fortnite expedition outposts in the game and we walk you through how to get to each.
Gaming

Get extra life with our tips and tricks for 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a much more difficult game than you'd believe based on its adorable art style and 2D perspective. Here's how you can master the game's toughest challenges.
Gaming

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has two distinct Mario experiences in one package. In this guide, we'll show you how to find all of the secret exits in New Super Mario Bros. U, that lead to hidden levels and let you skip worlds.
Gaming

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Luigi U Deluxe'

Just like all other 2D Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe includes secret exits and world skips. In this guide, we'll show you how to get to all 12 secret exits in New Super Luigi U.
Gaming

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.