When Electronic Arts revealed Battlefield V to the world, the Internet went crazy. Many people's craze was fueled by pure excitement to see the next installment in the iconic shooter series. However, some people's craze was fueled by displeasure over the game's take on World War II, specifically the authenticity -- or as they believed, the lack thereof -- on the world's most iconic conflict. Chiefly, the backlash was centered on the inclusion of women in the game.
Following this backlash, EA promptly got out and defended its decision, a decision it has once again backed, this time with a more straightforward response.
In an interview with Gamasutra, EA chief creative officer Patrick Söderlund told the outlet the response has not been okay, and that it doesn't plan on changing its position, and frankly, isn't interested in backlash over trying to diversify.
“We stand up for the cause, because I think those people who don’t understand it, well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game,” said Söderlund. "I’m fine with either or.”
The executive added:
"We felt like in today's world—I have a 13-year-old daughter that when the trailer came out and she saw all the flak, she asked me, 'Dad, why's this happening?'
"She plays Fortnite, and says, 'I can be a girl in Fortnite. Why are people so upset about this?' She looked at me and she couldn't understand it. And I'm like, ok, as a parent, how the hell am I gonna respond to this, and I just said, 'You know what? You're right. This is not okay.'"
"These are people who are uneducated—they don't understand that this is a plausible scenario, and listen: this is a game," he added. "And today gaming is gender-diverse, like it hasn't been before. There are a lot of female people who want to play, and male players who want to play as a badass [woman]."
Söderlund adds that this wasn't just a PR move from the publisher itself, rather the developers at DICE wanted to include women in the game, which it has since stated isn't so much concerned with authenticity as it is immersion, inclusiveness, and creating its take on World War II.
Whether this whole #NotMyBattlefield backlash will impact sales of the game remains to be seen. Wherever you may come down on the debate, what is nice to see is a developer/publisher sticking to its guns and its creation. Often when a backlash of this size happens, there's scrambling and readjustment. EA is shipping the game it wants to ship, and it might sell less as a result, but I have to applaud them for staying their course.1comments
Let us know in the comments below what you think of the whole "controversy," as well as whether or not you're looking forward to the new installment.