Two developers from Bohemia Interactive, makers of the ArmA military simulation series, were recently arrested on the Greek island of Lemnos for allegedly spying on military bases, according to reports from Greece.
The developers, ages 28 and 33, had reportedly been visiting Lemnos on vacation, and were doing research for the company’s upcoming third installment in the ArmA franchise. If found guilty of espionage, the two individuals could face upwards of 20 years in prison.
Bohemia Interactive later confirmed the reports, issuing this statement:
“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.”
Bohemia executive producer Jan Kunt told CVG that the two have not been formally charged yet, but that they will both be moved to Lesbos to appear in the district court.
Kunt went on to explain that Bohemia had run-ins with Antonis Hatzidiamantis, the mayor of Lemnos, over the maps used to create ArmA 3.
“In the past the mayor was vocal about us using maps and how it is strategically problematic because Greece has NATO’s second-largest army [Turkey's] next door to them,” Kunt said. “”You can buy it [the maps] yourselves. The Turkish army can buy it. It’s not military-grade intel. It’s really nothing more than Google Maps.”
We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.