DICE made a splash with its Battlefield 5 announcement, when it was revealed that the World War 2 shooter would have playable female soldiers at the expense of historical accuracy. The title’s design director knew it was going to be a tough sell, but maintains that he is “on the right side of history” for the move.
“I knew this was going to be a fight when I pushed for female soldiers in Battlefield,” design director Alan Kertz reveals on Reddit via his handle, Demize99. “I have a daughter, and I don’t want to ever have to answer her question of ‘why can’t I make a character that looks like me?' with ‘because you’re a girl'.”
Despite his personal reasons, Kertz reveals that the move is thanks to DICE recognising societal changes. “From within the industry we’ve seen so much male domination, for whatever reasons, and I work for a studio and a company that recognizes the value of diversity in what we do as game makers.”
“Sometimes just enough things come together to make it happen. It felt like an inevitability. The excuses were running out and the support was there… so it happens now,” justifies Kertz.
As for those that dote on historical accuracy, Kertz reminds players that “the first Battlefield WW2 game had a Jetpack DLC, and the Russians used an MP18/Japanese SMG.” He goes on to point out that even rival shooters that offer an authentic World War 2 experience such as Day of Defeat or Post Scriptum each have their own flavour.
“We want to create the most immersive experience we can create, and that pushes us towards physical and some authentic elements. We also want it to be engaging in the long term and person. That’s always a balancing act. I am sure we hit that mark, not for everyone, but we will hit the mark,” concludes Kertz.
“I think many people will play the game despite their reservations. And maybe learn something about either history or themselves. That is part of the making games art.”
KitGuru Says: Considering each Battlefield game has had its dalliance with fiction over historical accuracy, I can’t understand how people remain surprised that Battlefield 5 will be no different. At the very least, the title won’t play any different to the alternative, while male and female experiences can finally be on par. How do you feel about DICE’s inclusion of playable female characters?