DICE boss responds to Battlefield V female character backlash

6 min read
0

When Battlefield V drops later this year, it brings with it new game modes and a single player campaign set in the unexplored locations of WWII, extensive post-release content that will be free to all players, potentially its own spin on the popular Battle Royale game mode, and a heap of revolutionary gameplay additions that will be true game-changers for the franchise. For a very vocal portion of the game’s community, none of that matters though. What does matter is that you can now customize your soldier to play as a female or person with disabilities, and this is apparently a dealbreaker.

Check out the official Battlefield Twitter account, look up the #NotMyBattlefield hashtag, or drop into online forums like the Battlefield subreddit and you will find mountains of vitriol as these fans rage against developer DICE apparently breaking historical accuracy in order to pander to the SJW crowd. There are just two simple facts that these folks are overlooking during all their bouts of anger: 1) WWII featured its fair share of both female soldiers and even soldiers with prosthetics, some of whom have gained lots of fame. 2) The Battlefield franchise has always been about sandbox action fun within a historical context and not being a 100% accurate historical simulator.

This is something that DICE General Manager Oskar Gabrielson pointed over the weekend in a Twitter thread that started by him declaring that “Player choice and female characters are here to stay”.

Gabrielson continued in a series of tweets, highlighting that they want to “represent all those who were a part of the greatest drama in human history” and that DICE’s commitment is “to do everything we can to create games that are inclusive and diverse”. This effort truly began in Battlefield 1 when DICE chose an African-American soldier for the game’s cover. Back then, these same vocal members of the community also screamed about DICE “black-washing” history, despite the fact that the soldier was representing the Harlem Hellfighters, a very famous WWI regiment that consisted of only persons of colour.

However, Gabrielson also explained that while representation is very important, that “we always set out to push boundaries and deliver unexpected experiences. But above all, our games must be fun!”.

As an example these unexpected fun experiences, Gabrielson gave a very famous example from Battlefield 1 where three players managed to turn a horse into a flamethrowing mount of destruction. Because that totally happened in the real war, right?

I’ve been playing Battlefield and been part of the community since it all started back in 2002 with Battlefield 1942, and we have constantly created crazy and over the top scenarios just like what Gabrielson describes (Just this weekend past in a game of Battlefield 1, I saw a biplane, with snipers standing on the wings, land on top of a zeppelin, so that the snipers can snipe from up there). Even if you don’t take things to that extreme, the very mechanics of a first-person shooter game means that you can never get true historical accuracy as some fans have started pointing out to the angry masses.

So if you want to call the franchise out for not boasting historical accuracy, the inclusion of playable female characters is not the proverbial back-breaking straw you should be rallying behind. We still don’t even know the full context of the playable female characters in the game – especially the one with a prosthetic arm glimpsed in the trailer, who actually only appears to be part of the Combined Arms co-op campaign and not the main War Stories campaign or the general multiplayer. So to get this angry at this point – and damn, are these folks angry! – is every bit as nonsensical as ignoring historical facts so as to criticize historical accuracy.

Read  “Survival is not a given” in this trailer for Battlefield V’s single-player stories

I will end by saying though that I do have a slight issue with the colourful cosmetic customization you will now be able to do on your soldiers. However, that’s merely because I feel it can potentially change the overall more simplified aesthetic of Battlefield, which is something I have always preferred over the garish, over the top visuals of competitor Call of Duty, and not out of some blinkered sense of rage.

Last Updated: May 28, 2018

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

Check Also

“Survival is not a given” in this trailer for Battlefield V’s single-player stories

Battlefield V is retaining the vignette styled single-player that first featured in Battle…