Jailed ArmA Devs Released on Bail
[Photos via Eurogamer]
Late last year, two employees of Bohemia Interactive, the studio behind the ArmA series of games, were arrested and jailed in Greece on espionage charges—charges that the pair, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, vehemently deny. Today, Joystiq reports that the two have finally been released on €5000 bail each after being imprisoned for nearly 130 days. Previous attempts to post bail were denied by the Greek government.
Dean Hall, the creator of ArmA-based game DayZ, and a colleague of Buchta and Pezlar, offered comment to Eurogamer on the pair’s release:
“It’s really fantastic news, only just found out so I’m still in a little bit of shock. It is a huge relief, both personally and professionally.
Without Ivan, DayZ never would have come out; he was the guy that pushed for me to be bought over from New Zealand to work on ArmA 3, which is where I learned some of the engine interior I needed to make DayZ a success. He was the guy who was at the airport to meet me when I arrived, always smiling always cheerful. He was the guy who came to pick me up at the airport when the ‘weight’ of the success of DayZ had hit me while I was at E3.
Not having him around, and knowing that he was in prison, has really left a big hole that has been impossible to fill emotionally. If you haven’t met Ivan before, you really can’t meet a more positive, strong and wonderful person to work with. Martin is also a really wonderful guy to work with, it’s going to be very emotional for everyone when they are home.”
The espionage charges against the duo came from a tour Pezlar and Buchta took of the military installation on the island of Lemnos. The installation is set to be included as an in-game location in an upcoming ArmA title, but a fictionalized version of it. The two have said that they only took the tour of the installation after having done work on the game.
Since their arrest, Pezlar and Buchta’s employer has been working toward their freedom and the dismissal of charges. While the charges seem to remain for the moment, the fact that they’ve been allowed to leave prison on bail is a good sign that this case might start to find some resolution.