Following Bohemia Interactive’s espionage charges, its depiction of Lemnos will be renamed to Altis.
About half a year ago, Bohemia Interactive’s Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar were arrested in Greece on charges of espionage. The crux of the arrest revolved around Arma III‘s depiction of Lemnos, an island near the Turkish mainland, which Greek officials worried would expose national security secrets. In private, I’m sure many developers enjoy the occasional spy fantasy, but this case led to five months imprisonment, separation from loved ones, and a significant amount of political tension. For these reasons, Bohemia has decided to rename the island to Altis, citing a new found lack of interest in the original title
“As part of the creative process, our virtual environments are often rooted in real-life locations and, during development, they evolve and grow along with our design,” said Arma III project lead Joris-Jan van’t Land. “The resulting fictional environment is often close to its inspiration, but it’s never exactly the same – nor would we want it to be. For us, ‘Altis’ echoes the Mediterranean heart of our island, but differentiates it from any undesired real-life connotations.”
While the change itself is relatively minor, perhaps it is an understandable one. Some developers face lawsuits for refusing to change their content, but very few are confronted with jail time in another country. If I were in their shoes, I probably wouldn’t want to spend every subsequent day at work hearing about the place where I’d been arrested either.
Bohemia Interactive hasn’t mentioned whether it will alter the landscape itself along with the island’s name. With Buchta and Pezlar returned home, Arma III should see a delayed release in 2013.
Source: Bohemia Interactive