The future of ArmA, interview with the development team of Bohemia Interactive

The future of ArmA, interview with the development team of Bohemia Interactive

The Arma saga begins in 2007 but the real consecration comes in 2013 with ArmA 3 which still today conquers thousands of players all over the world attracted by the extreme realism of military simulation.

2022 saw the launch of ArmA Reforger and the announcement of the future arrival of the highly anticipated ArmA 4.

With these assumptions, we could not fail to interview the developers of Bohemia Interactive working on the next chapter of ArmA.

The interview was made for us by Serg. Kaio of MOS Italia, the largest ArmA clan in Italy.


flagItaliano Il Futuro di Arma, intervista agli sviluppatori della Bohemia Interactive


We thank you for your responses and cooperation

  • Joris-Jan van 't Land (Project Lead Arma 3)
  • Klamacz (Lead Programmer)
  • Zozo (Lead Designer)
  • Pavel (PR manager for Bohemia Interactive)

Question: We will begin with the past to then move our attention to the future of the Arma platform.
On June 25th 2023, ARMA 3 will celebrate 10 year from the launch of its first beta. When the development of ARMA 3 began, did you imagine it would have such longevity to have a community that is always active in the development of new MOD?

Answer: It's a length of time we ourselves often struggle to comprehend and we're very proud of the game still being so popular now. We did not fully expect this during the 2013 release year of version 1.0. The project was in a bit of development crisis before that, which the team worked hard to get under control. That is when we took the opportunity to release into Steam Early Access and Arma 3 was the first title to graduate from it. Since then we've kept working on a huge amount of free platform updates, and also premium DLC and expansions. But it's most certainly true that a big part of the game's longevity lies with its moddability and its amazing mod creator community. Modding is core to Bohemia Interactive and the Arma series has always seen modding. With Arma 3 we've tried to support modding more than ever with our tools, samples and documentation. Of course we always strive to do more in that area, since we know it results in fantastic creations. Some 9 years later, there isn't a theater of war you cannot find content for, but there are also mods for many other themes. Ranging from single assets to entire Total Conversions, we thank all modders for their passion and tireless efforts. Now that Arma is entering the Enfusion engine era, we are wanting to take modding to the next level yet again. Its tools suite (IDE) is in many ways far more powerful and we are already seeing very cool things brewing. Plus we are pushing to get modding going on multiple platforms. We're all in this together for the long haul as platform, game and mod developers.

Question: For how long have you forecasted to continue the support for Arma 3 with updates and new DLC?

Answer: Joris: at this stage we are still supporting Arma 3 with a small Live Ops crew. They try to keep the game stable, reacting to external changes, such as changes in Operating Systems, drivers, middleware, etc. And they monitor community channels for fixes, tweaks and additions that may help players and especially modders. But there are limits to what's feasible at this stage, both in terms of technology and available development time. Our primary focus now must be on the Enfusion future of Arma. Certain bigger or lower level changes within Arma 3 are just not possible anymore. So this all translates to approximately 2 platform updates per year. We don't have a firm timeline for how long this support can continue. Being many years after its release, this determination is made as we go now. It's safe to say this year and next will likely continue as now. In terms of DLC, the last Bohemia-developed one was Art of War (now free to all Arma 3 players). We are not developing more DLC ourselves, but we do have the Creator DLC program still up and running. It has already led to the publishing of some very impressive and diverse additional content.

Question: What are the upcoming releases for both ARMA 3 and Arma Reforger?

Answer: Arma 3 has just released its 2.10 platform update. We'll slowly begin work on 2.12, but there's no firm release date set yet. There are also several Creator DLC updates in the pipeline, but we typically announce those details only once they are ready to go live. Stay tuned!

Question: ARMA Reforger has introduced important updates, a new graphic engine, accurate physics and new features in the management of the MODs. How did you come to the decision to create your own workshop, leaving the one from Steam?

Answer: The modding has been always one of our priorities. We understand the game as a platform and we focus on the modularity. Having the own workshop is beneficial for both players and developers. The connection between dedicated servers, clients and our workshop opens a new possibilities. We have a way better control over the mod management and we were able to implement the client part completely into the game and not just as an overlay. With own workshop, we're not dependent on the 3rd party systems. We can better handle the mod dependencies, do automatic download of them. We've been implementing the versioning of mods which brings the possibility of reverting to their previous versions in case the newer contains bugs or not compatible with the dependent mods. The last, but not the least reason is the multiplatform style of the game. In order to be able to share the mods across the platforms, we also needed to develop own system which fulfills our game's requirements.

Question: Are you planning to give the possibility to the users to create their own private servers to play ARMA Reforger like how it is happening nowadays with ARMA 3?

Answer: Zozo: The users can already create their own private servers. There are multiple ways how to do it. If users are not satisfied with renting a server in the cloud service ( actually we use Nitrado servers ), they still can use the "good old way" by setting up their own dedicated server on their hardware. However, we are aware of running the server this way is not a trivial process. We're already working on in-game server server management which will allow players to host their own server in matter of a few clicks. Especially to make the life of console players easier in some future. This will still allow players to run server remotely in a cloud service which benefits from easy access for all players ( simply hosting in game server hosting service ) or they will be able do the same with locally hosted servers. To develop this functionality will take some time, but as part of the workshop tool improvements, we will provide a tool for generating the configuration server files.

Question: Have you thought about implementing a voice chat system directly into the next ARMA title to free users from using third party platforms such as TeamSpeak or Discord?

Answer: We implemented new radio system, so people don't have to use TeamSpeak plugins and radio mods. Generic usage chat is also included. Yet, there are no plans for global voice chat, such feature is possible to be modded.

Question: Many users ask for the creation of an official community dedicated to Italians. Will that be possible?

Answer: Arma (and DayZ) games are perfect platforms to create communities all around the world, creating many beautiful stories where players became close friends. In DayZ we even have some instances of marriages. However we are not setting-up these sort of communities by ourselves, but letting them grow organically. Our Discord being the best place, where to look for such community or to set-up a new one.

Question: We close with the question of the questions... At the announcement of “The Future of ARMA” for a few days the world communities shouted at the imminent launch of ARMA 4. During the event, in addition to presenting ARMA Reforger, it was announced that a 4th chapter of ARMA would arrive in some time.Do you have the road map for the release of ARMA 4 or is it not yet defined?

Answer: No comment ... Seriously, Arma Reforger has not been yet fully released and we are focusing mainly on finishing all the features we've promised in our roadmap. The roadmap for Arma 4 still officially doesn't exist, however the development of the AR helps us to create a stable platform which is necessary for start working on Arma 4 title.


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