Bohemia Interactive announced today that the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense has purchased an enterprise license of its Virtual Battlespace 2 training software.
According to the press release, Virtual Battlespace 2 "provides a robust, flexible simulation for use in collective and tactical training, mission rehearsal, experimentation and terrain/3D model visualisation for AO familiarization."
Virtual Battlespace 2 is based on the Real Virtuality 2 game engine, and can trace its roots back to Bohemia Interactive's award-winning 2001 release Operation Flashpoint. Although a relatively complex military sim in itself, Operation Flashpoint quickly became a top-selling title across the US and Europe, winning numerous awards along the way. Since then, the company has divided its focus between developing consumer-level tactical combat simulators, and the Virtual Battlespace series of military trainers.
Along with the UK Ministry of Defense, Virtual Battlespace customers include the Australian Defense Force, the New Zealand Defense Force, the United States Army, and the United States Marines. As a military training tool, the Virtual Battlespace series is a "serious game," not intended for entertainment purposes; individual customers who reach the Virtual Battlespace 2 website are directed toward ArmA: Armed Assault, Bohemia Interactive's most recent commercial title, and a direct descendant of the Operation Flashpoint series.
Using game software as a military tool is not a new idea: the most famous example comes from 1996, when the United States Marine Corps adopted id Software's groundbreaking FPS Doom as a training tool that became known as Marine Doom. The United States Army uses the Unreal-based America's Army game as a recruitment tool.
Originally founded as an independent game developer in 1999, Bohemia Interactive now maintains a studio in Australia as well as its original home base in the Czech Republic.