With Battlefield 1 producing groundbreaking features and currently living up to its hype, there is still one thing that each Battlefield game has been lacking: female soldiers in multiplayer. And it doesn’t look like EA’s next installment will entertain that idea, either.
With popular shooters such as Call of Duty and Overwatch including female characters in their multiplayer formats, it’s become quite the norm to play as a woman with guns blazing. However, the Battlefield franchise has never provided this feature, and Battlefield 1 will be no different. (Note that this is regards to online multiplayer only, because there is a playable female character in the story mode.)
What’s really entertaining is the reason behind this decision. Originally, females were going to be integrated as playable multiplayer characters, but then the idea was scrapped due to boys not finding it believable. Former DICE coder, Amanda Coget, took to Twitter in order to discuss how the conversation went down.
Even though female soldiers in WWI was not a common thing, it happened. And even though Battlefield is more realistic with its play style in comparison to other shooters, it’s still a video game.
There is a ton of room for interpretation when it comes to developing battles and fighting because despite how realistic a game is, it’s still pretty fictional. (I mean come on, respawning multiple times in a match is realistic, but playing as a female soldier isn’t?)
I’ve never classified myself as a feminist by any means, but this is ridiculous. It’s not upsetting that Battlefield 1 won’t have female soldiers (in multiplayer), but it’s highly offensive that they are catering to boys that wouldn’t find the idea believable. The concept is understandable, but the reasoning is not.
This isn’t the first time the game attempted to accommodate to the less informed consumer. EA originally ditched the idea of a World War I setting because they were concerned that kids didn’t know that it actually happened.
UPDATE 6/15/16: I just want to clear the air regarding the reasoning behind this article. It is not to start a debate about social equality, women’s rights, or anything of that nature. I don’t care if I have to play a game as a man, woman, alien, worm, or even a piece of chewed up bubble gum; I just like to play video games, regardless of the characters available. This article was written to simply state that it appeared that Battlefield 1 initially wanted to include women in their multiplayer for the first time, but ditched the idea later in order to appease their supposed target audience, which happens to be younger boys.