Dean "Rocket" Hall, creator of 2012 indie shock hit DayZ is pleading for fans to pressure Greek authorities, including the nation's prime minister, to free two of his colleagues who remain jailed in the southern European nation.
Video game developers Ivan Buchta (pictured above, at right, standing next to Hall) and Martin Pezlar were arrested earlier this month for allegedly spying on Greek military installations on the Greek island of Lemnos. They say they were just vacationing, and their employer, the Czech-based development studio Bohemia Interactive says the pair were most definitely not scoping the island out for work on a game—even though the upcoming ArmA III will include a modified version of the island. The two men are facing a maximum sentence of 20 years on espionage charges, if convicted, according to supporters, though that has not been confirmed by Greek authorities.
The developers have said that they're being treated fairly by Greek authorities but have said the situation is an "absurd... misunderstanding."
Hall salutes both men in a post on his blog, saying that "the charges are nothing short of absurd." He's asking fans to take action by contacting Greek embassies and even Tweeting at the Greek prime minister. "The world has their eye on Greece because of their economic troubles, let them know the world has two of their friends held hostage."
And what do you know?
It's pretty much the only thing people are Tweeting at Prime Minister Antonis Samaras about:
@primeministergr with all due respect please free those 2 game developers that is being arrested for false allegations for espionage.— Vince Art Tapa (@vancearzt) September 18, 2012
@primeministergr Ivan and Maxel did nothing wrong, release them! What you're doing is unfair and unjust.— ohai its ellie (@Ellie00001) September 18, 2012
@primeministergr You should return Martin and Ivan back to their families! + I want more DayZ content so... ya know...— Rhys Atkin-Smith (@RhysIsDooble) September 18, 2012
@primeministergr Detaining Game Developers for a few hours I could Understand , but Greece is starting to look like a paranoid joke— Andrew S Helmer (@Helmer1134) September 18, 2012
@primeministergr It would be decent for some official clarifications regarding this matter, or else the accusations would only tense up.— Stefæn (@stipaen) September 18, 2012
I didn't know that simply developing a video game could get you charged for espionage. @primeministergr free the 2 of them.— Kevin (@Kayywinn) September 18, 2012
@primeministergr we want Ivan and Maxel returned to their families immediately. FREE THEM.— Jeremiah F (@sadSCV) September 18, 2012
OK... maybe that last one was about something else. But those were all in the last hour.
My friends are in prison [Dean "Rocket" Hall's Tumblr]