On May 23, 2018, Electronic Arts (EA) and DICE announced the latest video game “Battlefield V” would not have any loot boxes and downloadable content would be free through updates. This seemingly change of heart was quickly overshadowed by what came next.
The trailer reveal showed British female soldiers in a World War II setting in the front lines, raising complaints from viewers saying that the game was historically inaccurate. DICE’s general manager Oskar Gabrielson stated on Twitter that, “Player choice and female playable characters are here to stay. Our commitment as a studio is to do everything we can to create games that are inclusive and diverse.”
“Battlefield V’s” Design Director Alan Kertz also stated that they’re on “the right side of history” because he said he doesn’t want to answer his daughter’s question of why she can’t create a character that looks like her with “because she’s a girl.” Many gamers were outraged, stating that the game was pushing a social justice warrior agenda by forcing a political agenda in a game where most gamers go to escape from that part of the media.
Gamers took to Twitter by starting #NotMyBattlefield and one blogger, known as One Angry Gamer, Billy D, felt the game had gone full SJW. “The developer has made forced diversity one of the main promotional elements of the game,” he stated. Billy also added that DICE seems to be repeatedly shoving this agenda in the gamer’s faces by saying they’ve been “listening to the corrupt, anti-gaming media outlets who are intent on destroying the interactive entertainment medium.”
But the outrage fueled faster from gamers has now ex-EA chief Executive Officer Patrick Soderlund called all those who hated women being featured in the game uneducated and told gamers “accept it or don’t buy it.” Gamers soon followed as pre-order numbers reported by the Cowan Group have dwindled 85 percent.
The beta for “Battlefield V” launched Sept. 6 and was met with mixed and negative reception. Stating the moment to moment gunfights were on point, but the game felt empty when it came to content. Then controversy struck again as the word “white man” along with “Asian,” “Hispanic” and others were censored in the in-game chat box. Other words like “DLC” and “lag” have also been censored raising the accusations that EA can’t take criticism well.
A statement was released by EA and DICE that they’re working on a profanity filter to “reduce toxicity” in the game. They also added that they acknowledge that words like “DLC” should not be censored and that, “Healthy discussion is what drives improvement in our games, and we wouldn’t want to impede on that.”
The game’s release was pushed back from Oct. 19 to Nov. 20 to iron out the bugs, but due to the backlash the game has been receiving lately, it is unsure that the “Battlefield” series and the company EA would be remembered for their games anymore.