Arma 3 devs detained in Greece were tourists, espionage accusations "completely false" say BI

Two Bohemia Interactive employees were arrested by Greek authorities for espionage last week after recording footage of military bases in Limnos. BI have sent over a statement saying that reports claiming that they'd entered military installations and taken footage to support development of Arma 3 are "completely false and without substance."

"These employees - our friends, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar - visited the island as tourists. Their holiday was a product of their interest in the island, triggered by their work on Arma 3 over the past two years of development," they say.

"They took photographs and videos in public areas, as countless tourists arriving to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Greece may well do. These included a short video as they drove through the main road passing around the international airport, where in one short part of the video off in the distance some hangars and other buildings of the complex can be seen. It's very likely that many tourists may have pictures similar to those taken by Ivan and Martin in their own family albums, without being aware that they put themselves or their families at risk."

The description conflicts with the account that Greek police offered to Czech officials, according to comments from Czech foreign ministry spokesman, Vit Kolar, picked up by The Escapist . "We have a statement from the Greek police saying they were taking pictures and video footage of military facilities on the island on which they were detained, and that they entered the military facilities despite a warning."

BI are using Limnos as inspiration for the fictional island we'll be fighting for in Arma 3. "The in-game Limnos is close to completion, and it's far from an identical replication of the real place," they explain. "It was heavily modified to fit the game's backstory, a purely fictional 2035 setting. It was rescaled to only 75% of the real island, and it does not attempt to display any real world military installations situated on the island of Lemnos."

They stress that no military objects were photographed as source material for Arma 3 units or locations. Buchta and Pezlar are currently being held in Mytilene. "The conditions are tough, but the people we meet treat us fairly and correctly," they say in a statement. "It is all a completely absurd misunderstanding that will certainly be quickly explained. We mainly think of you, our families; you have to stay calm and not to worry about us. We hope we will meet soon."

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.