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Don't want women in Battlefield V, don't buy the game: EA shuts down trolls with blunt ultimatum

Who said candid couldn't be classy

Santanu Basu 14 June 2018, 2:00 PM
Battlefield V has been facing backlash from certain sections for having a woman protagonist in a WWII setting

Battlefield V has been facing backlash from certain sections for having a woman protagonist in a WWII setting Image: EA

Electronic Arts' (EA) Battlefield series is a crowd favourite ever since Battlefield 1942 first debuted back in 2002. But the latest iteration of the game — Battlefield V has been facing a lot of flak on social media because, umm well, it has a female protagonist in a World War II (WWII) setting. EA, however, remained unperturbed by the backlash and issued a straightforward message for the trolls — accept it or don't buy the game.

The issue took root ever since Battlefield V's launch trailer showcased a female character in the thick of the action on a rampaging battlefield. While a lot of gamers appreciated the first look, a section of gamers wasn't too happy and made their grievances public with the #NotMyBattlefield hashtag on Twitter.

Many complained that the narrative of women participating in World War II is historically inaccurate, while others were downright reluctant to accept the idea.

In reality, women played a major role in World War II. During World War II, around 3,50,000 women served in the US Armed Forces both at home and abroad. Some even served as Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). While women in the US army didn't engage in active combat officially, the presence of female combatants in the Soviet and British army are well-recorded.

Coming to the gaming realm, there have been multiple games with a woman as the central character. Games such as Tomb Raider have, in fact, been blockbuster hits and even developed into a franchise, including full-fledged Hollywood movies.

These are people who are uneducated — they don't understand that this is a plausible scenario. Patrick Soderlund, EA CCO

In an interview to Gamasutra, EA chief creative officer Patrick Soderlund, who is a veteran game developer, said, "I have a 13-year-old daughter. When the trailer came out and she saw all the flak, she asked me, 'Dad, why's this happening?' She plays Fortnite, so she was like, '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, okay, 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.'"

Soderlund added, "These are people who are uneducated — they don't understand that this is a plausible scenario, and listen, this is a game... 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)... And we don't take any flak. We stand up for the cause because I think those 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."

Way to go, EA.

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