Jetsetter: Czech game developers face trial for espionage in Greece

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Welcome back to Jetsetter, Digital Trends’ weekly look at the international video game scene. Yours truly recently enjoyed an extended stay outside of the continental US, namely in Spain. The majority of time was spent in the small village of Monachil outside of Granada and what I discovered was this: The Spanish countryside isn’t full of games, but it does look a lot like it did in Resident Evil 4.

Spain may not have been a hot bed of gaming goodness but it’s a big world out there. This week we take a look at a Czech developer’s ongoing woes in Greece, Japan’s growing love affair with the Nintendo 3DS, and how one Dutchman plagued an entire MMO.

ArmA III developers denied bail in Greece.

As covered here in Jetsetter before, two staffers from ArmA III studio Bohemia Interactive were arrested in Greece under suspicion of espionage. Eurogamer reported on Friday that, after more than two months in Greek prison, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar have been denied bail and must face a trial in Greek court. The developers are incarcerated in nasty conditions as well. “They’re in a cell with over 25 people, they sleep on the ground,” said Ivan Buchta’s father Miloslav. A support site working to free the developers can be found at HelpIvanMartin.org.

* Dutch hacker arrested after MMO heist.

Anil Kheda, a 24-year-old man from the Netherlands, has to be given points for originality at least. It’s a rare cyber crook that steals an entire MMO. Kheda was arrested after allegedly hacking into Rampid Interactive’s text-based MMO Outwar in 2007 and 2008. He and his accomplices restored banned accounts, gave themselves in-game credits, and ultimately copied the entire source code of the game opening a competitor it called Outcraft. “Rampid was unable to operate Outwar for a total of two week over a nine-month period and incurred over $100,000 in lost revenues, lost wages, lost hosting costs, long-term loss of business, as well as the loss of exclusive use of their proprietary source code, which it had invested approximately $1.5 million in creating,” reads the federal indictment of Kheda.

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* Nintendo 3DS matches PS3 in lifetime Japanese sales.

The Nintendo 3DS has been out in Japan for a little less than two years. The PlayStation 3 on the other hand has been out for exactly six years. How do you know that portable gaming is king in Japan? Both machines have sold approximately the same number of consoles. According to sales tracking company Media Create, as of Nov. 11 Sony has sold nearly 8.6 million PlayStation 3s in Japan. Nintendo, meanwhile, has sold nearly 8.1 million Nintendo 3DSs. With each passing year, it looks like the PlayStation 2 will remain the last great home console in Japan.

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