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'Arma 3' banned in Iran

Arma 3 won't be available in Iran

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Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Arma 3, Bohemia Interactive's upcoming tactical military shooter, has been denied a license for sale in Iran.

Arma 3, Bohemia Interactive's upcoming tactical military shooter, has been denied a license for sale in Iran — which amounts to a ban, according to KhabarOnline.

As reported by the Trend News Agency, Iran's National Foundation of Computer Games and its Revolutionary Guard Corps, an influential government militia, have banned the importation of Arma 3 into Iran. The reason? They believe the game's portrayal of Iran as a NATO enemy to be inaccurate. Arma 3's story concerns a battle between NATO soldiers and the Iranian Armed Forces in the Aegean Sea region.

Iran has recently begun to regulate video games more actively, after a 2009 declaration by the Revolutionary Guard Corps that the country was the target of a "soft war" being waged by the West. The new restrictions are bringing the medium in line with the country's stance on other art forms such as films and books. In 2011, the Iranian government banned Battlefield 3 because it featured missions and multiplayer maps set in the capital, Tehran. Last month, a change in US trade sanctions on Iran forced Blizzard Entertainment to block access to its Battle.net online gaming service, leaving Iranian gamers unable to play games such as World of Warcraft and Diablo 3.

Earlier this month, two Arma 3 developers from Bohemia Interactive were arrested in Greece for allegedly taking photographs and videos of a military installation. The studio said the men were merely vacationing, not gathering information for the development process or spying on Greece. In a statement released earlier this week, the imprisoned developers maintained their innocence, calling the situation a "completely absurd misunderstanding."

We've reached out to Bohemia Interactive for comment, and will update this story with any information we receive.