DayZ creator urges release of ArmA devs jailed for alleged espionage

Two Bohemia Interactive developers were arrested on charges of spying in Greece, and DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall is urging gamers to call for their immediate release.

Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, both Czech nationals involved in the ArmA series of military shooters, were detained earlier this month and face up to 20 years on espionage charges, supporters say.

The two were arrested for allegedly taking pictures and video of Greek military installations on the island of Lemnos, the real-world inspiration for ArmA 3’s setting of Limnos.

“After more than two years of passionate work on Limnos, the fictional counterpart and also a game tribute to the real place, they were really interested to see the real island of Lemnos,” Hall said on his personal Tumblr. “They were there as tourists, and are being charged simply because they were working on a video game.”

Hall said both Buchta and Pezlar aided in his transition from New Zealand to the Czech Republic. They also worked on the upcoming standalone version of the DayZ mod for ArmA 2, for which Hall joined Bohemia Interactive as lead designer.

Hall urged community members to send Twitter messages to Greece’s prime minister, write letters, and visit local embassies. Meanwhile, Bohemia Interactive has denied any allegations that the two were visiting the island in any part for research for ArmA 3.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.