One of this year’s most discussed World War II first-person shooting games, Electronic Arts’ Battlefield V, now appears to be destined towards commercial failure after its developers chose to include a theme of social-justice related historical revisionism in the game’s content.
Fans of the historically themed first-person shooter Battlefield series reacted with disapproval when the initial trailer for the new game was released. Many were given the impression that the series had abandoned any pretense of historical realism with the bizarre trailer was seen, featuring anachronistic elements such as prosthetic limbs and women as frontline combat soldiers.
Certainly, many women served in various militaries in World War II. But Battlefield V‘s depiction of women as frontline combat personnel has raised accusations of whitewashing history to fit a politically correct narrative, lacking resemblance to reality. The backlash against Battlefield V‘s creative decision to prioritize a faux depiction of gender diversity was made clear by fans, who swarmed the trailer on YouTube with dislikes and negative comments.
The refusal of EA and DICE(Battlefield‘s developer) to listen to the concerns of their own consumer base became even more obvious when the latter seemed to passive-aggressively mock the historical objections at a launch party for the game, flashing quotes across a screen such as “Feminazies are trying to ruin Battlefield” and a monotonous display of “White men! White men! White men!”
Any pretense of historical realism was completely abandoned in an element of the game’s single player component, when the player plays as a female Norwegian resistance fighter in a real life sabotage operation which was undertaken by men, exclusively. The de facto writing out of the men who participated in a plot to cripple Germany’s nuclear development program raised accusations of blatant disrespect.
Another point critics raised in regards to Battlefield V’s absence of historical realism was the complete lack of any content featuring either the Soviet Union or the United States at the game’s launch.
It seems the negative response has extended to the commercial release of the game so far. EA has already offered Battlefield V for sale at a discounted price- a poor sign for a game released just last month. It’s being heavily outperformed in sales by its closest competitor, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and sources indicate that early sales of Battlefield V lag well behind those of its predecessor, the World War I-themed Battlefield 1.
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