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The Rise and Fall of Operation Flashpoint

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Published on Jan 21, 2019

In 1997, a video game company named Bohemia Interactive was established in Prague. The Czech Republic had historically never been a hotbed for video game development, but Bohemia’s founders – Marek Španěl, Ondřej Španěl, and Slavomír Pavlíček – were on a mission. They were determined to create a first person shooter that would capture the reality of war more accurately than any game before it; an engrossing simulation that would depict what real battlefields were like, and feature an unprecedented sense of scale and attention to detail.

After a challenging and prolonged development period, Bohemia delivered on these ambitions in 2001 with Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. The game was both a triumph within the genre of tactical first-person shooters, and one of the first major successes in the history of Czech-made video games. But it was also beginning of two wars – a war between Bohemia and its publisher, which would attempt to capitalize on the game without its creators’ involvement, and a war between Bohemia and itself, as the studio struggled to balance its ambitions with its capabilities.
When the dust finally settled over a decade later, Operation Flashpoint had been stripped of its appeal and future. But Bohemia had survived, and started a new series, ARMA, that picked up mechanically and spiritually where Cold War Crisis left off. Unlike its predecessor, ARMA received a more muted reaction from the industry when it debuted – yet eventually grew into an empire within the military simulation genre.

In a world where abandoned video game franchises so rarely receive spiritual successors that continue in their footsteps, the story of the Operation Flashpoint and ARMA is a shining exception; a reminder that not all inactive series become lost forever.

This is the rise and fall of Operation Flashpoint.

Video sources:

gamescom 2012: Interview with Marek Spanel from Bohemia Interactive: https://youtu.be/HorSqsUfxic
Enzait DayZ Cinematics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKUi1...
Reportáž - Nové informace o hře Carrier Command: Gaea Mission: https://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ivysilan...
Reportáž - Carrier Command: Gaea Mission: https://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ivysilan...
Bohemia Interactive — Game Page — iVysílání — Česká televize: https://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ivysilan...
Game Page — Česká televize: https://www.ceskatelevize.cz/porady/1...
B.L.O.U.D. for the Atari 8-bit: family: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EydLu...
Don't mess with Texas - TI-99/4A Megademo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhSUh...
Convoy Simulation Training part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Ngq...

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  • Game

    • Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis
    • 2001
  • Category

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