Greece Busts Game Dev "Spies"

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Greece Busts Game Dev "Spies"

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The Arma 3 development team may have gone too far in a bid for gaming realism.

Two unnamed Bohemia Interactive developers have been arrested by the Greek Government on espionage charges. When their bags were searched, a camcorder and camera - both of which contained images of military installations on the island of Lemnos - were found in the pair's possession. The arrested men claimed to have been carrying out research for Bohemia Interactive's Arma 3 military shooter.

According to a statement by the Czech government, the accused deliberately entered an area they knew was off-limits. "We have a statement from the Greek police," said Czech foreign ministry spokesman Vit Kolar, "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." Bohemia Interactive has confirmed in a forum post that the two are Bohemia Interactive employees, but is unwilling to make any further public statement at this time.

Lemnos, in legend the home of artificer Hephaestus, is strategically significant to Greece and was the scene of a decisive naval victory against the Turks during the First Balkan War in 1913. As a result of that war control of Lemnos passed from Turkey to Greece, and the island's military status is the subject of treaties between the two nations. Lemnos has been a significant naval installation and currently boasts an important Greek Air Base. In Arma 3 the island has been fictionalized as Limnos.

Arma 3, due for release in 2012, is set on Limnos during a conflict between NATO and Eastern armed forces. This is not the first time Bohemia Interactive has sent employees out on reconnaissance; the last time they were in Lemnos was in 2010. On that occasion David Zapletal and Pavel Guglava tried to record what Bohemia Interactive described as the "genius loci" of Lemnos. Whether or not Zapletal and Guglava attempted a second act of genius remains to be seen, but if so ... well, telling the internet you're interested in photographing military installations and posting pictures of you in action for all the world to see may not be altogether wise.

Source: PC Gamer

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Isnt there a proper channel to go through if you want to go poking around a military installation?

I mean, Namco's Project Aces team gets access to airfields for thier pixel-perfect digital reconstructions of fighter and bomber planes...

I suddenly want to buy an ARMA game.

That's some damn fine accidental marketing, guys!

Hilarious.

And Scary.

Some of those European countries take espionage pretty seriously.

Here's hoping they get out of that ok.

Boudica:
I suddenly want to buy an ARMA game.

That's some damn fine accidental marketing, guys!

I'm with you. You've got to give them credit for their dedication in wanting to make a realistic as possible military game.

Also, these guys are from the Czech republic, couldn't they have just asked for permission from their nations military to do research or are they just planning on getting as much info as possible from as many different militaries as possible? There's gotta be a better way than to sneak around with a cam corder.

Artificer? Really?

If it really is the "genius loci" what made you think they would let these two [b]idiots</> anywhere near it?

Not so surprised.

Any recording of anything military found on a foreigner, they declare them as spies. Greece is one mound away from the grassy knoll.

Welp, arma 3 has my money, purely for the entertainment this news gives me.

This happened to a bunch of British tourists in 2001. It doesn't bode well for those developers. The Brits were given a scam trial and convicted to harsh prison sentences. And the Czech Republic is a lot easier to mess with than Great Britain.

Krantos:
Hilarious.
And Scary.
Some of those European countries take espionage pretty seriously.
Here's hoping they get out of that ok.

"European"? Greece is quite lonely in it's policy of thinking every picture taken of it's antique arsenal is worth of arrest, a scam trial and jail time, thank you.

Krantos:
Hilarious.

And Scary.

Some of those European countries take espionage pretty seriously.

Here's hoping they get out of that ok.

They should've hired...uh crap what's that guys name? oh yeah...

James Bond

*sigh*if only he were real

Blablahb:

Krantos:
Hilarious.
And Scary.
Some of those European countries take espionage pretty seriously.
Here's hoping they get out of that ok.

"European"? Greece is quite lonely in it's policy of thinking every picture taken of it's antique arsenal is worth of arrest, a scam trial and jail time, thank you.

Wasn't referring to places like the UK, etc. Was more refering to places like Serbia, Turkey, etc.

Not entirely certain what the current political climate is, but they're not places I'd want to be brought up on charges of espionage.

That's why I only operate is the western bloc... I mean... Disregard that.

*Door slams*

Fuu..

Blablahb:
"European"? Greece is quite lonely in it's policy of thinking every picture taken of it's antique arsenal is worth of arrest, a scam trial and jail time, thank you.

I'm Greek, and a law student, and I don't recall any examples of "scam trial and jail time" for espionage. I could be wrong though, and I'm sure you wouldn't just pull that out of your ass, so do you mind enlightening me?

Other than that, yeah, of course if some random user on the internet considers the arsenal "antique", then immediately all measures regarding its protection should be dropped and we should all point at it, take pictures and laugh. Clearly, in any other country in the world, if you were caught smuggling illegal info on military facilities out of the country, they would give you a high-five and send you on your merry way. Yup.

I'm sure they'll be fine, as soon as it's clarified that they are actually not spies. Still, that is one of the most retarded things I've ever read. There are ways to ask for permission to do research, about your game or book or whatever. You might not be given permission if the information is sensitive, but that's the way the world works, you don't just barge in like a buffoon. Jesus.

Yes,photographing military equipment is a crime in Greece.
Not only for foreigners,when I joined to serve my time,they searched my stuff and didn't even allowed mobile phones if they had cameras on them.

Now if they also trespassed and got inside without asking the authority,things are more complicated for them..

Karloff:
In Arma 3 the island (Lemnos) has been fictionalized as Limnos.

Meanwhile Gadzilla attacks Niw Yurk City after Landon recovers from an attack by the Nozis.

(More brilliant fictionalised naming there)

I can only hope that people making zombie games don't make zombies real in the hope of making a more realistic zombie game.

gigastar:
Isnt there a proper channel to go through if you want to go poking around a military installation?

I mean, Namco's Project Aces team gets access to airfields for thier pixel-perfect digital reconstructions of fighter and bomber planes...

Apparently, some individuals prefer lazyness/trouble over work/safety.(Boy did that make me sound my age or what).

Or maybe the Chzec army doesn't much collaborate with the entertainment industry.
I dunno, I never pictured that part of the world in a very favorable light, politically--wise...

Isn't there, like, a permit or something they could have gotten before taking a bunch of pictures? This sounds like something you'd need a permit for.

You know if they had of just offered Greece money they probably would of done the work for them.....

Cool. Might have cleared it with the government/military before taking pictures and stuff, and taking time to search for a potential facility that would let them do what they were wanting instead of doing what they did and getting caught, but still. Cool. It's more effort towards obtaining realistic data than any other shooter video game/simulator has gone to before. Groovy. Looking forward to playing ARMA 3, even though I'm a little leery about the slightly futuristic setting.

Not too surprising. Here in California one of my teachers was nearly arrested for trying to take photos of a nuclear power plant.

Hope they get out of it okay.

They got balls entering a military installation to take those pictures. Dudes could have been shot to pieces.

They probably should have just asked for permission though.

Waaghpowa:

Also, these guys are from the Czech republic, couldn't they have just asked for permission from their nations military to do research or are they just planning on getting as much info as possible from as many different militaries as possible? There's gotta be a better way than to sneak around with a cam corder.

Maybe they could have, but if the game is going to be set on the island of L(i)emnos what good are the middle of the forest Czech military facilities that they probably used for Arma 2 and Chernarus. They probably wanted to get some of the real Lemnos facilities to the game, so it's not about just military facilities but more about these specific military facilities. Bloody spies.

you know you're a hardcore video game dev when : ..

Now there is some true dedication to their work! What they did was quite possibly not the best idea they could have had, but at least it shows they care about their game.

Do not forget the locals were not happy to find out that their island was going to be depicted as a warzone in a computer game when ARMA3 was announced. This does not bode well for these individuals no matter how stupid they were. It does not matter where you go a countries military gets upset if you try to take photos of their installations.

If true this also happened in 2010 Greece needs to throw the book @ those 2 caught in this case and let them rot for a decade or 2 in a Greek prison.

Reminds me of the planespotter arrests some time ago. The Greeks are apparently a bit secretive when it comes to hardware.

Can't wait for that game, I bet the greek prison stages will be really realistic.

This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard myself, I can't begin to understand what these guys were thinking. Military bases are secret for a reason, and honestly the very topic of their game pretty much defines why you don't want anyone (except the military) to know what exactly is there in case of you know... actually needing the military to operate in an offensive/defensive capacity.

To be honest I think part of the problem is that the US and other nations have gotten too lax in their laws for treason and the like, and in putting pressure on nations who take action of this kind, leading to people doing stupid things that they probably shouldn't have been doing to begin with. It's one of the reasons why harsh laws sometimes need to be applied in somewhat silly situations... consistincy within the big picture. I wouldn't be surprised if these game developers did what they did in part under the exepectations that if their own goverment wouldn't just get them sprung, first world countries like the US would send a bunch of teary eyed liberals and free information organizations to their defense.

It also occurs to me that spies don't generally go around with a giant "spy" sign on their chest, they use covers for a reason. The story of doing research for a video game like this would actually not be the worst cover I could think of to excuse being around military installations, or looking at hardware.

In this case I probably wouldn't be too upset if they faced a firing squad of whatever on principle. Basically if they are guilty they deserve it, if they are innocent consider it darwin's law in action (give them a Darwin Award, and put it on their graves)... win/win. :)

THEY'RE STILL ALIVE!!!

But seriously, they could have been shot if they were caught at the base. Illegally photographing military installations will wind you up in jail in most western countries.

Limnos is not a fictionalized version of Lemnos. Limnos is how Lemnos is spelled in Greek, but foreigners has trouble understanding that in Greek the i is always read as the e in Greece.

Therumancer:
This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard myself, I can't begin to understand what these guys were thinking. Military bases are secret for a reason, and honestly the very topic of their game pretty much defines why you don't want anyone (except the military) to know what exactly is there in case of you know... actually needing the military to operate in an offensive/defensive capacity.

To be honest I think part of the problem is that the US and other nations have gotten too lax in their laws for treason and the like, and in putting pressure on nations who take action of this kind, leading to people doing stupid things that they probably shouldn't have been doing to begin with. It's one of the reasons why harsh laws sometimes need to be applied in somewhat silly situations... consistincy within the big picture. I wouldn't be surprised if these game developers did what they did in part under the exepectations that if their own goverment wouldn't just get them sprung, first world countries like the US would send a bunch of teary eyed liberals and free information organizations to their defense.

It also occurs to me that spies don't generally go around with a giant "spy" sign on their chest, they use covers for a reason. The story of doing research for a video game like this would actually not be the worst cover I could think of to excuse being around military installations, or looking at hardware.

In this case I probably wouldn't be too upset if they faced a firing squad of whatever on principle. Basically if they are guilty they deserve it, if they are innocent consider it darwin's law in action (give them a Darwin Award, and put it on their graves)... win/win. :)

Or... not... to all of that...
... Yeah

OT:
Arma 4: set in current-day everywhere.
Spies in all the countries.

Waaghpowa:

Boudica:
I suddenly want to buy an ARMA game.

That's some damn fine accidental marketing, guys!

I'm with you. You've got to give them credit for their dedication in wanting to make a realistic as possible military game.

Also, these guys are from the Czech republic, couldn't they have just asked for permission from their nations military to do research or are they just planning on getting as much info as possible from as many different militaries as possible? There's gotta be a better way than to sneak around with a cam corder.

It takes place on a Greek island, so obviously they want the Greek military involved in the game. But yeah, they may have been able to ask nicely, but Greece is pretty paranoid so that may of not worked, they may have arrested them for asking to see the base for all we know >.>

Irridium:
Isn't there, like, a permit or something they could have gotten before taking a bunch of pictures? This sounds like something you'd need a permit for.

Did you have a permit to write that? That sounds like something you'd need a permit for. I need a permit to get the modem to get the permit to get on this site.

OT: It's not like they can get away with it because "I was only stealing this money so I could build a house, not buy drugs!". The purpose comes down to that matter, although on that scale with all the military applications, it's probably pretty important to be distinguished as innocents.
Sounds like poor decision making on Bohemia Interactive's part.

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