Earlier this month, news broke that two game developers were arrested in Greece for "spying". The developers had been working on ArmA III, a near future military game set on a Greek Island.
At the time, the studio at which the developers work, Bohemia Interactive, said the two men were not visiting the island of Lemnos for the game. Arma III uses Lemnos as a setting.
Today, Bohemia Interactive' released a new statement about the arrest as well as comments from the two developers, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar. Bohemia Interactive passed along a message from the two men for their friends and family:
The conditions are tough, but the people we meet treat us fairly and correctly. 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.
The studio once again reiterated that the two developers were in Lemnos on vacation. The game, says Bohemia Interactive, is nearly complete, and the in-game Lemnos is a highly modified version of the real place. Apparently, Pezlar, Arma II's map designer, and Buchta, ArmA III's Creative Director, were only interested in visiting.
It's somewhat odd, though, that ArmA III's Creative Director was traveling in Lemnos, the game's setting, with a guy that makes video game maps of all people—and then both of them were arrested for supposedly filming and photographing Greek military sites.
Here's Bohemia Interactive: "We sincerely hope that the whole situation is no more than an unfortunate and deep misunderstanding. The in-game Limnos is close to completion, and it's far from an identical replication of the real place. 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."
As to what the two men filmed, Bohemia Interactive says the developers took photos and shot video in public areas. "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," says the studio. "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."
As previously posted, Buchta and Pezlar face up to twenty years in prison. A website, HelpIvanMartin.org, has appeared online to raise awareness and hopefully aid in the release of these two game developers.