Arma 3 maker Bohemia Interactive has said it’s aware of the recent circulation of videos taken from the game and falsely used as footage from real-life conflicts.
The independent Czech studio said the practice was being used to spread fake news, sometimes unwittingly, and mainly about the war in Ukraine.
“These user-made videos have the potential to go viral, and are massively shared by social media users; sometimes even by various mainstream media or official government institutions worldwide,” it wrote in a blog post.
Arma 3 footage being used as Fake News
While Arma 3 takes place in a fictional conflict in 2035, it offers a set of modding tools which allow users to create and share custom military scenarios, weapons, vehicles and game modes.
According to Bohemia, there are currently over 20.000 Arma 3 mods available to download via the Steam Workshop.
“While it’s flattering that Arma 3 simulates modern war conflicts in such a realistic way, we are certainly not pleased that it can be mistaken for real-life combat footage and used as war propaganda,” said Bohemia’s PR manager Pavel Křižka.
“It has happened in the past (Arma 3 videos allegedly depicted conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and even between India and Pakistan), but nowadays this content has gained traction in regard to the current conflict in Ukraine.
“We’ve been trying to fight against such content by flagging these videos to platform providers (FB, YT, TW, IG etc.), but it’s very ineffective. With every video taken down, ten more are uploaded each day.
“We found the best way to tackle this is to actively cooperate with leading media outlets and fact-checkers (such as AFP, Reuters, and others), who have better reach and the capacity to fight the spreading of fake news footage effectively.”
Bohemia’s blog post also includes a list of checks which can be used to help distinguish in-game videos from real-world footage.
Arma 4 was announced in May, when Bohemia also released a standalone precursor called Arma Reforger.
Priced at $29.99 / £24.99 on Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview, Arma Reforger is an appetiser designed to establish the key elements planned for the sequel and to introduce the franchise to consoles for the first time.