Posted by & filed under Bohemia Interactive, Community.

Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall wrote devoted an article to the greek-situation.


My friends are in prison

I really wish my first personal tumblr post wasn’t something like this, but this is an urgent appeal for help.

Two of my close friends and work colleagues, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, are currently detained in a prison in Greece, charged with allegations of spying.

Just even writing that down is so absolutely ridiculous to me, I can barely stand seeing those words on paper. I know a bit about military intelligence, I spent five years in the Air Force as an Officer, and re-enlisted in the New Zealand Army as an Officer a few years ago, in the Signals regiment. So I know what information might be valuable. The charges are nothing short of absurd. This is a disgrace to the video gaming industry, and both of them should be freed immediately.

They are Game Developers

Me (left) and Ivan (right) sharing a moment at E3 this year

My two friends are game developers. I came all the way to the Czech Republic from New Zealand just to make games with them. Indeed, Ivan was the first person I ever spoke to in the company, both of us sharing a passion for the mountains. After more than two years of passionate work on Limnos, the fictional counterpart and also a game tribute the to the real place, they were really interested to see the real island of Lemnos. They were there as tourists, and are being charged simply because they were working on a video game. A game that portrays Greece as a battlefield for a fictional futuristic conflict. There is no risk in this game, there is no evidence here that any espionage has been conducted or even that anyone’s safety is compromised. This is at best, ignorance about video games, at worst is is an abuse of power.

They helped me make DayZ

Both guys worked together for me over the past month to help make ChernarusPlus, a new map for the DayZ game I am working on. They put in many hours of work with this, a great deal of which was in their own time. When I arrived in the Czech Republic, I knew nobody. Ivan was there at their airport with a big smile and a warm handshake, driving me to the studio in Brno to begin my adventure with the studio. Martin was always on hand to help me out, translating when I needed a Pizza order late at night working on DayZ. When I went to E3, after the pressure and difficulties of my success, one of my bags stolen and the other lost, I arrived in Prague something of a beaten man sitting at a bus stop feeling sorry for myself, very alone a long way from home. Ivan’s flight arrived later, but he called me, picked up, cheered me up, and drove me home. That’s the kind of guy Ivan is.

We need to get them home

There is much more I would love to say about the situation and the various government agencies involved. It’s up to the Greek Government now to get involved and end this immediately.

How you can help them

You have the power to help me free my friends. I need you to do four things, and if enough people get behind this. The world has their eye on Greece because of their economic troubles, let them know the world has two of their friends held hostage. These things are very important. Petitions and such are great but not as powerful as personal contact, these steps will get my friends freed:

1. Send a twitter message to the Prime Minister of Greece (@primeministergr) letting him know we want Ivan and Maxel returned to their families immediately. This is probably one of the most public and obvious things you can do to help. Social Media works.

2. Call, write, or visit your nearest Greek Embassy (click the link for a list). Let them know what they have done is wrong, and that you want them released. Be civil, but be honest. We don’t stand for this in the part of the world I come from.

3. Spread the word, let everyone know. Please forward my post on, and these links, to anyone who might be able to help. For more information you can visit my friends website at

4. Let the local press on the island know what you think on their facebook page, and their twitter @LesvosNet. Read some of the comments on this articlefor an idea of what is going on. Let’s end it exactly where it all started in the first place!


Please note: my views here are my own, and not representative of any organization, company, or project that I have or now work for.


Link to dean’s article

Posted by & filed under Community,

This is a call for support to the entire ARMA/OFP community, all gamers and non-gamers alike.

As many of you may know, two of Bohemia Interactive’s developers, Ivan Buchta, and Martin Pezlar, are currently detained in a prison in Greece, charged with allegations of spying. The arrest took place on September 9th near their hotel, and was first reported by Greek site Lesvos news

Facing up to 20 years in prison, for taking pictures of an island, just like countless other tourists before them, the Czech developers are being charged with espionage. Only because they happen to work on a computer game, a game that portrays Greece as a battlefield for a fictional futuristic conflict between the USA and Iran in the year 2035.

Ivan and Martin are no spies, but passionate community members, dedicated to the game and its experience for the player. Many of us have witnessed Ivan talking in interviews passionately about the progress of ARMA3 and all the new features, also developed by Martin.

It’s time to show our support, not only as a community, but as players and concerned citizens, for two developers, who now face a lifetime in prison for an unfortunate misunderstanding.

Ivan and Martin need your support right now, so please share this link with as many people as you can and leave a message for them as a sign of solidarity, hope and friendship.

Thank you for your time, your help is much appreciated.

You can stay up-to-date with the twitter feed and news posts here on this page.


Posted by & filed under Bohemia Interactive.

Spokesman for Bohemia Ota Vrťátko said:

“It is sad, and at the same time ridiculous, that our two dear friends are being detained for what appears to be nothing in comparison to these videos. It seems to be very hard to determine what is allowed to be filmed, and what isn’t, especially with the clear public exposure of these military objects, very close to public areas.” “It is even worse that the Limnos legal apparatus is on a strike, further delaying processing and release of Ivan and Martin!”

Posted by & filed under Bohemia Interactive.


First statement from Bohemia Interactive by Marek Spanel, CEO Bohemia Interactive.


We can confirm that two Bohemia Interactive employees, our colleagues and friends, were arrested during their holiday trip to Lemnos. They visited the island with the sole purpose of experiencing the island’s beautiful surroundings.

Since its establishement in 1999, Bohemia Interactive has created games based only upon publicly available information. We always respect the law and we’ve never instructed anybody to violate the laws of any country. The same is true for Arma 3.

Currently, all our effort goes towards supporting the guys over there, as well as their friends and families affected by this difficult situation. We sincerely hope that this is an unfortunate misunderstanding of their passion as artists and creators of virtual worlds.
On behalf of the Bohemia Interactive team,

Marek Spanel, CEO