DICE, and by extension publisher EA, have both taken a lot of flak since fans learned that Battlefield V was set to include female soldiers, prompting the developers to stand up to the criticism. The latest to join design director Alan Kertz in defending the decision is EA chief creative officer Patrick Soderlund, who didn’t hold back on what he thought of the controversy.
The inclusion of women in the World War 2 shooter is often placed in the firing line by fans due to “the common perception is that there were no women in World War II,” Soderlund explains in an interview with Gamasutra. “There were a ton of women who both fought in and partook in the war.”
Even without the exacts of historical accuracy, Soderlund explains that Battlefield 5 is about “the unseen, the untold, the unplayed,” geared less towards being a history lesson and more towards offering an accessible experience. “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].”
Soderlund recalls the moment his own 13-year-old daughter questioned the aggressive backlash, simply asking: “'Dad, why's this happening?' ‘I can be a girl in Fortnite. Why are people so upset about this?'” He questioned how he was to handle these questions as a parent, coming to the conclusion that his daughter was right. “This is not OK.”
Pulling no punches, Soderlund dubbed the people partaking in the backlash as “uneducated” in that “they don't understand that this is a plausible scenario.” And EA isn’t going to sit back and take the flak. “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. I'm fine with either or. It's just not ok.”
Battlefield 5 will see its general debut on October 19th, with those opting for the deluxe edition and Origin Access getting their hands on the shooter a little earlier.
KitGuru Says: While Soderlund’s response might be considered harsh, particularly to those that are simply history buffs, I do think that some have gotten too hung up on meticulous details that they’ve lost sight as a gamer. In the end, all DICE wants to do is deliver a fun and engaging experience. How do you feel about Soderlund’s reponse to the backlash?