As Electronic Arts prepares to launch Battlefield V, the game's developers are defending their decision to place a focus on female characters in the WWII shooter title, something that has drawn a considerable amount of ire from the fan base.
Battlefield V's diverse roster of characters includes a variety of different races but also features women prominently in its marketing campaign. While many didn't bat an eyelid at the inclusion of woman in the game (and on the cover), a group of angry fans started a #NotMyBattlefield campaign on Twitter. Now, developers at DICE are addressing the backlash.
Once again heading back to the trenches of WWII, some have mocked the use of women in Battlefield V as others have taken it one step further. Outraged players have promised to boycott Battlefield V outright, but DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson made it clear on Twitter that they will have to turn their backs on the series altogether.
First, let me be clear about one thing. Player choice and female playable characters are here to stay. pic.twitter.com/fvi9riUZDM— Oskar Gabrielson (@ogabrielson) May 25, 2018
The Battlefield sandbox has always been about playing the way you want. Like attempting to fit three players on a galloping horse, with flamethrowers. With BFV you also get the chance to play as who you want. This is #everyonesbattlefield. pic.twitter.com/jZkzSRjIwL— Oskar Gabrielson (@ogabrielson) May 25, 2018
With women here to stay in Battlefield, Gabrielson showcased how EA has never been bothered by similar issues in the past by sharing a gif of three male soldiers riding the same horse while firing a flamethrower. Using #EveryonesBattlefield, he went on to reiterate that Battlefield has always put fun above historical accuracy, saying that gamers should have a choice about the sex and ethnicity of who they play as. Despite the critics, supporters of the game have pointed out that women did take part in WWII through the use of guerrilla warfare and specialist operations.
New for Battlefield V, players are encouraged to customize their avatars more than ever, which may not be ideal for a history lesson, but it offers more freedom when it comes to the latest title. Fans only have to look at the key art for Battlefield to spot blue face paint, beards, and prosthetic arms - all of which allow for greater customization. For those who want a more accurate look, Battlefield V has teased that, although microtransactions won't be able to affect gameplay with play-to-win, cosmetic enhancements will be a big draw.
Although it seems to be a vocal minority who have a problem with the presence of women in Battlefield V, it has been enough of a noise to steer coverage away from the game's upcoming release. Also, with the Battlefield V reveal trailer currently sitting at 250,ooo likes versus 248,000 dislikes on YouTube, the problem may be bigger than first thought. Importantly, though, instead of worrying about what a cross-section of society thinks, DICE is rightly keen to tackle more important issues such as gameplay and introducing a new title that is bigger than its predecessors.
Battlefield V releases on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on October 19.
Source: Oskar Gabrielson