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Arrested In Greece: ArmA 3 Developers Speak In New Bohemia Statement

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Bohemia Interactive, the developers behind ArmA 2 and 3 and employers of the two developers arrested on alleged espionage charges, have released a new official statement on the situation in Greece. This statement names the two developers as Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, and reaffirms the company’s position that the two were visiting as tourists when they were arrested. Also in this statement is a message from the two arrested developers, explaining that the situation is a misunderstanding, that they are being treated correctly, and that they wish to see their families soon.

Bohemia concludes the statement by welcoming any support that can be given.

You can read the full statement below.

Since last Sunday, when two Bohemia Interactive, a.s. employees, were arrested on the Greek island of Lemnos, much speculation about what happened has circulated online. It’s been rumoured that they entered restricted military areas or gathered photographic references of military bases in order to improve the visual fidelity of Arma 3, a PC game currently under development by our company. Far in advance of any formal charges – only hours after they were detained by the local police – many media outlets immediately suggested spying and, only one day later, specifically referenced Arma 3.

Having travelled there, and after meeting personally with them both, as well as their lawyer who is fully acquainted with the Greek authority’s investigation file in detail, we can assure you that these insinuations 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 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.

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.

To summarize the situation:

·They visited Lemnos on their holiday as tourists.
·They did not enter any military area.
·They did not take any pictures of any military objects to be used in Arma 3.

Martin and Ivan, currently being detained in Mytilene, relayed this message to 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.”

We apologize for any possible delay or lack of communication regarding this important matter. At present, all and every possible effort goes towards supporting Ivan and Martin, their families, and to getting the guys safely back home. Any form of support for our imprisoned colleagues and friends will be more than welcome.

We here at OnlySP wish the developers a speedy resolution of the situation. As always, stay tuned for more details.

Former Editor in Chief of OnlySP. A guy who writes things about stuff, apparently. Recovering linguist, blue pencil surgeon, and professional bishie sparkler. In between finding the latest news, reviewing PC games, and generally being a grumpy bossyboots, he likes to watch way too much Judge Judy. He perhaps has too much spare time on his hands. Based in Sydney, Australia. Follow him on twitter @lawksland.

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Pokémon Developer Game Freak Emphasizes Original Game Creation

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Pokémon

Game Freak, best known for the Pokémon franchise, is starting to emphasize and prioritize original game creation.

In an interview with Video Game Chronicle, Masayuki Onoue, a director at Game Freak, says that the company has launched Gear Project, an initiative in which developers pitch ideas during slower periods between big releases to create more original games other than just Pokémon.

Onoue also spoke about Production Team 1 and Team 2 at Game Freak, the first prioritizing Gear Project for the company as a whole and the second focusing on Pokemon. He noted that Gear Project allows the developers to gain more experience working on different platforms such as PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, as well as transferring new skills and techniques they learned back to the Pokémon team.

Some of the games that Game Freak has released so far through Gear Project are HarmoKnight, Pocket Card Jockey, Tembo the Badass Elephant, and Giga Wrecker. Game Freak is also developing Town, an RPG game that was shown off in a Nintendo Direct back in September 2018 and is due out this year.

Additionally, Game Freak is working on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, the latest entries in Nintendo’s flagship franchise. Both of those are set to release later this year.

For more on Pokémon and Game Freak, be sure to follow OnlySP on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, or join the discussion in our community Discord server..

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