Arma III island renamed in wake of spying charges

Amidst ongoing espionage case against its developers, Bohemia Interactive changes main island name from Lemnos to Altis.

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In response to the ongoing espionage case against two Arma III developers, developer Bohemia Interactive today announced it has changed the name of the game's main island from Lemnos to Altis. Lemnos is the real-world name of the island on which Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar were arrested in September.

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The pair were detained for 129 days before being recently released on bail earlier this month. Bohemia has insisted Buchta and Pezlar were merely on vacation, though an upcoming trial will decide their fate. The two previously faced up to 20 years in jail if convicted, though it is not clear if this punishment is still on the table, should the pair be found guilty.

"In view of recent events, the team no longer feels passionate about using the previous name, 'Limnos', and hopes that the new identity, ‘Altis’, will help emphasize the fictional nature of the game," the company said in a statement. "A secondary, significantly smaller island in Arma III, ‘Stratis’ (approx. 20 km²), will keep its name."

Arma III project lead Joris-Jan van 't Land commented on the decision to change the name of the island, saying the island was never meant to be an exact copy of the real-world location.

"As part of the creative process, our virtual environments are often rooted in real-life locations and, during development, they evolve and grow along with our design," he said. "The resulting fictional environment is often close to its inspiration, but it's never exactly the same--nor would we want it to be. For us, 'Altis' echoes the Mediterranean heart of our island, but differentiates it from any undesired real-life connotations."

Arma III was originally pegged to launch in 2012, but was delayed in December to a release sometime later this year. In addition to Arma III, Bohemia Interactive is also working with designer Dean Hall on a standalone version of zombie shooter DayZ.

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