DICE GM: ‘Player Choice And Female Playable Characters Are Here To Stay’

Briefly: “Player choice and female playable characters are here to stay.” — DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson, delivering an excellent smackdown to Battlefield fans upset that you can play as a woman in the next game.

Here's Our First Look At Battlefield V, Which Goes Back To WWII

Battlefield is going back to World War II, developer DICE said during a livestream today, promising that the newly announced Battlefield V will tell 'real stories about men and women who changed history' over the course of the second World War.

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Oh No, There Are Women In Battlefield V

There are women in Battlefield V, a game set during the Second World War. They're in the game, they're in the trailer, they're even on the posters! And a lot of people are very upset. Is this what their forefathers fought for?

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  • I prefer to remember when Battlefield was about realism.
    A time when we soared through the clouds in our B52 bombers with people riding the wings, sniping low flying jets and jumping in them before we crashed or reviving brave bullet riddled corpses with defibrillators over and over again.
    RIP Battlefield.

  • I dont think the naritve is as simple as ‘Battlefield fans upset that you can play as a woman in the next game’ as you quoted, rather the majority of complaints being directed to the inaccurate historical depiction of WW2 which dice had created, which in previous titles it had been a core part of the battlefield series.

    • The entire series is inaccurate. NOTHING about Battlefield is accurate. If people tried to do even 1% of the things they do in video games in a real war they’d not only get their ass shot off they’d probably get everyone around them killed, too. It’s a fucking video game.

  • The main issue over the debate is the depictions of history. It’s never a good thing to willfully misrepresent history and the fact people are attacked for questioning if this is happening is a seriously big problem. It’s actually a really troubling problem and a serious issue.
    Maybe one armed female soldiers were on the front lines of WWII and it’s a story not widely known. In which case great, tell that story. It’s less of an issue in MP if you’re having a lot of customisation and want players to have some kind of self representation. Where a fat neckbeard wants to play as a thin redheaded chick. How long until gender appreciation is a thing?
    A big issue with these different gender models is the hitboxes. Will the female and male soldiers be the same size? Have the same hitboxes? There are basic game play elements over such issues.
    Anyway the most interesting thing to me is how quickly the gaming media and many people are to acknowledge the game is misrepresenting history and to come up with an excuse that it’s being misrepresented for a good reason. The attacking of people who are merely questioning this is troubling and right out of a dystopian future sci-fi novel of people living under a fascist state set about 34 years ago.

    • BF has never, in any of its iterations, been anything closer to historical accuracy than a cartoonish facsimile.

      That the argument has gained weight only when female representation joined the conversation is a glaringly obvious and clear indicator of its impetus. We can see why people are getting irate, and it’s the same reason as every other time message boards become full with commenters dropping their two cents: folks don’t want to share their toys because they’re shit people.

      • While I agree, the previous games set in WW2 were at least grounded in history. There have to be some concessions to ‘realism’ because it’s a game – there’s a reason games like BF are more popular than Arma for example, but even then there are concessions for gameplay. “You can be revived by magic syringe realism lol” doesn’t change the period setting – and having an over representation of female soldiers in a conflict where it was predominately men who fought and died is a massive disconnect from the setting.

        That said – this iteration of BF looks much more cartoony and disconnected from the setting so I don’t think it’s a big issue and people are bitching for the sake of it. It’s different to trying to shoehorn female soldiers into BF1 which was more grounded in its period setting.

        • Frankly people need to move on from history when you hit the point that it holds society back.

          Excluding females in this case is an example where people need to move on from history.

          (Jokingly) I wonder if the haters in this case have unresolved homosexual desires as they seem to want to be surrounded by their own male sex?

          • Well if you want to move on “from history”, don’t pretend to have any sort of historical basis in your games – otherwise you’re a historical revisionist which is awful too. Time to come up with some new conflicts, or rehash BF2142 or something.

          • I see where you’re confused. I think I can help you with this.

            Videogames aren’t history.

          • Okay, allow me to clarify. The game is based in World War 2. A lot of things happened, could have happened, or might have happened, or could be purported to have happened, during World War 2, especially given Himmler’s purported interest in the occult and the research experiments that were ongoing by both sides. However women in close combat roles as portrayed in the latest Battlefield game is not one of them, especially in the British army, where they were prohibited from this role until the ban was lifted in 2016. Portraying a female commando in the manner they have done so in the new game is a huge deviation in terms of a historical accuracy, and I think the big issue most people have is that they are trying to claim that whilst still having this deviation occurring.

            Just to clarify, I have no issue with females in a close combat role, and I do believe the ban should have been lifted much, much earlier than it was. But it wasn’t. That is history. You shouldn’t claim to be going for a historically accurate setting and then throw a curveball by having one of the main protagonists be someone who history says could not have been in that role at the time.

          • See, the problem with your argument there is that Battlefield 5 is set in history. If it was a more modern game, or even a new 2142 (We all dare to dream), then females and prosthetics would not be a problem. BUT Its set in WW2, a historical event that happened at a point in time where women were not even in the army, let alone serving on the front lines. And why there maybe stories of select groups of women going behind enemy lines and the like, it’s not something you can use as an excuse when the game is predominantly set on the front lines of a war that killed a LOT of men in combat. you could even say its disrespectful to a degree to the troops who died in the war. Battlefield is by no means super realistic, yes, but its also not some alt reality game either. putting them in for the sake of having them is as sexist as not acknowledging them.

          • Actually, most branches of national armed forces in Europe and North America had females serving in the armed forces, just not in combat or close-combat roles. they were assigned to administrative/support positions. The closest they could come to a combat role was in the intelligence services where they were sometimes used as undercover officers to gather intelligence and recruit sources or help develop an underground movement. They would not be part of a front-line unit wielding a rifle though, by any stretch of the imagination.

          • Excluding females from what exactly?

            From playing the game?

            From making an avatar in a game that looks like them?

            Or from being in stories from history that they weren’t in?

            People are looking at this from a whole lot of completely different angles.

            I really have not seen any discussion around this that is actually about excluding female players or even the female customisation options.

        • It’s better to describe BF games as being immersive and authentic, rather than realistic. Realism suggests that it’s a sim of some kind, DICE used to be very clear that it was an arcade shooter, in their own words, until they started marketing BF3. The whole idea has generally been to create the feeling of being in a war, on a battlefield, with lots of sounds and things happening in specific settings. For the most part, DICE have been honest to that idea since day one.

          DICE just aren’t doing that any more. It’s their choice, really. People can disagree and dislike it, but things change. The DICE of 2018 are not the same DICE we had in 2011, let alone 2002. The best thing to do if you don’t like it, is not to buy it. But I’m sure millions of fanboys will lap it up, even if they’re angry about it now.

    • Battlefield is fundamentally not historically accurate, it never was. No-one ever complained about historical accuracy in relation to dead soldiers coming back to life, of bullet wounds to the head being magically fixed by a defib. But now women on the front lines is a problem? I’m calling bullshit.

      • There has to be some creative license, it is a game after all.
        Would you pay $100 for a game where you sit in a trench for 4 months before dying of dysentery.

        • Dunno… throw in a trench foot mini game and a 1000 yard staring contest boss battle and we may have a winner on our hands….

        • Yeah that’s exactly my point, historical accuracy clearly hasn’t been bothering anyone up to this point. But now that it’s related to gender representation it’s a problem? Kind of suggests that the problem is with gender representation itself, not historical accuracy.

          • There’s a difference between being historically accurate, and having a historically accurate setting. BF has always aimed for the latter when it’s done games based in the past. Now they are claiming to do so again, and then making one of the main protagonists a person who would never have been allowed in a combat unit during that time period. Which means one of two things, either they need to stop claiming a historically accurate setting, or they need to fess up to pandering to the SJWs and sacrificing the game setting to do so. Cos right now that is whats upsetting people, not the fact that the player character can be a female, but that they’re claiming it’s still a historically accurate setting whilst doing so.

          • “pandering to SJWs” … it’s a commercial decision dude. It’s always a commercial decision.

            Anyways, I kind of agree in relation to past BF titles sure, but BFV clearly doesn’t have a historically accurate setting. They’re letting every soldier have their own unique attire –> that’s not how uniforms work.

            There’s at least half a dozen ways to customise your player model, all of which make the setting historically inaccurate, but gender is being singled out as the problem? Again, suggests that the problem is not with historical inaccuracy.

          • Maybe they did some research and saw woman weren’t playing the game because all the soldiers in MP were male. We don’t know.

            We do however know the gaming media these days are very much about social issues and how they write about games often do fall through how well they push the SJW agenda.

            Look at that whole Kingdom Come debacle, the historical setting was too white and wrong for being accurate. Or then Far Cry 5 gives them everything they want, all the characters are racially and gender diverse. However the game didn’t stop to virtue signal and make a point about it. It was therefore wrong.

            There were reviews of the movie Dunkirk which were trashing it for not having a wide gender and racial representation.

            I think people are just cynical that there may be pandering because it’ll lead to more positive coverage.

          • A commercial decision in the sense that EA is a publicly listed company, so whatever was changed was almost certainly changed in the interests of profitability alone. Which suggests to me that the group of people who’s decision to buy or not buy the game will be affected by this, are vastly outnumbered by the people who don’t really care one way or the other, or are happy with some concessions being made in the name of inclusivity.

            Also yeah, it will likely lead to more positive coverage. But is that a reflection of progressive attitudes in journalists, or progressive attitudes in those journalists’ readership. Impossible to know, but it seems to me that they’re just reflecting the majority viewpoint. Again, commercial realities – why would they be writing things for which there is no market.

          • No it isn’t your point, I mentioned creative license because it has to be a game as well.
            Which you seemed to ignore and try twist it into myself agreeing with you.

          • As in, you’re demonstrating my point, not that you agree with what I’m saying…

          • You said there has to be some creative licence, it’s a game. Couldn’t agree more. So why is gender a problem if they have creative licence to change the setting?

    • Its a game. Not history book. You can read books for history. Also why schools dont use games to evaluate students on their history knowledge.

      • Yes you can read a history book. The problem here is that when people point out the game isn’t historically accurate. They’re attacked and called sexist.

        That’s the problem. Not that there’s a female soldier in the game.

        • I don’t think that’s the problem here. Yes there are people who think that, but those are fringe opinions, they’re not anywhere near representative of the majority. And there’s people on both sides of the discussion who’s viewpoints don’t really make sense. Like when people point out the cognitive dissonance inherent in the ‘historical inaccuracy’ argument – complaints about historical inaccuracy being made about a game series that hasn’t been historically accurate in either setting nor gameplay for about 10 years – and the response to that challenge is ‘STOP CALLING ME SEXIST’…

          • Most of the debates I have seen are people talking about those question it being sexist. I have yet to actually see any of this man baby reaction. That might be the corners of the internet I hang out in though.
            The never been historically accurate argument is spurious to me. There’s endless quotes and comments over the years about them trying to have the setting be accurate. There’s also the confusion between game play and setting.
            It’d be like saying the most realistic car racing game, where that was the main aspect isn’t trying to be realistic because people don’t drive with controllers in real life and the races don’t last 120 laps.
            IMHO Dice should have just put female characters in where it fits. Like they did with BF1.
            I also think the reaction was because the trailer looked like a cinematic cutscene and the robot arm was a bigger wtf.

          • Spurious! lol. There are endless PR and marketing quotes saying it’s realistic yeah. That’s just marketing. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s realistic. The thing that makes it realistic is the actual realism itself (or lack thereof in this instance). Look at the game, not what the company that made it is saying about their own game.

            Also yeah, making an arbitrary distinction between realism in terms of setting and mechanics is just that, entirely arbitrary. Especially when both are unrealistic in the first place.

    • Ok, but Battlefield has long been wildly inaccurate depiction of both the technical and historical, so why is the line suddenly being called in to question now and with this addition?
      I would argue people aren’t being attacked for questioning the historical accuracy, they are being called out for elevating Battlefield to a history lesson, ignoring its myriad of inaccuracies to focus on just a few accurate, albeit rare and exaggerated aspects.
      The so called “attackers” have no illusions that Battlefield is anywhere near the kind of historic simulation that’s being argued as a front.

      Even the concern over mechanics like hit boxes comes off like an alarmist cover, Dice has had a lot of experience with making different models throughout its games and its never been an issue before (even with female and alien shapes) so why now?
      And why is one such insignificant mechanic cause for such fear of accuracy in a series that has celebrated such crazy things as multiple people riding one horse or a ton of soldiers crouching on the wings of bombers, jumping in to still moving jet planes, explosives that don’t harm your own side and countless others?

      • In recent years (basically since BF3’s marketing), there’s been the common misbelief that Battlefield is supposed to be some realistic war simulator that is 100% accurate to real life because it has things like good graphics,, bullet physics, destruction and scripted events, on top of EA/DICE’s change in marketing to push the game as being ‘realistic’ [looking] and immersive.

        Lots of BF fanboys caught the wrong end of the stick and think that the games are supposed to be milsims like ArmA or Red Orchestra, when they’re much closer to Call of Duty. Even the die-hard milsim fanboys somehow overlook the magical healing defibs/syringes, medpacks and riding on the wings of planes, or rendezooking people.

        Bring this brand of fanboy to something uncomfortable and they will lash out. Like if you mention that BF is closer to CoD than it is ArmA, you’ll have dozens of fanboys jump on your back. Now, it’s about the immersive aspect, which BF has traditionally been very good with. A woman is something a lot of people can’t suspend their disbelief for, for one reason or another, so it’s all kicking off.

      • Most people would consider the game play mechanics different from the historical setting.

        This is an issue over the historical setting. I honestly don’t really think the backlash has been due to some hidden misogyny. I also don’t know how much backlash there really has been.

        The problem is the most mild comment on historical accuracy is responded to and regarded as being exactly the same as some woman hating rant.

        I would look at it this way, no one cared when Call of Duty added female characters and soldiers into its single player and multiplayer. People only questioned it when they did it to a WWII game.

        I think people have been force fed this notion there’s a giant seething mass of basement dwelling male gamers who hate woman. So they are quick to assume they’re behind everything.

        They’re quick to find validation in this belief by labelling anyone who says anything they can tangentially link to saying something vaguely aligned with what one of these evil men might say.

        It’s ok to point out it’s getting less historically accurate. The fact that involves putting in woman character models and disabled soldiers doesn’t mean you can only do so with out hating woman and disabled people.

        I honestly think it’s ok to watch that trailer and go, “that’s a bit silly but whatever.” Which I think is the opinion of the vast majority of people think.

        Seriously, go back and google the COD stuff. Read the comments to them announcing female players in GHOSTS, versus having them in WWII. It’s very different. If it really was about hating woman, the GHOSTS comments wouldn’t mainly be mocking Activision and their excuse the saying the engine couldn’t previously allow for female players.

        • Uh yeah, most would see a difference between mechanics and setting, though I was replying to your comment on the matter there dude.
          Simply stating that something you cited as a big issue, was no issue at all and one in a pretty big laundry list of non issues.

          Im also not implying your anything or assuming your some evil mysognist, just asking why this particular aspect is one for such concern in a series that is rife with historical inaccuracies and questioning why the series is being elevated to some kind of strict historical simulation when it never has been and isn’t mistaken to be by most.

          • It’s not just this one change. I think the robot arms in combat is also silly and pointless. I’ve pre-ordered the game. I really don’t care. I just generally don’t like the general trend of rewriting history in media to fit in with modern politics. It’s nothing to do whether it’s equal representation on the frontlines of WWII or anything else where this happens. I think it’s expecting less of peoples intelligence to suggest facts of history are somehow too hard to grasp. I just think the general trend where this is happening is not a good thing. I understand the good intentions but it’s all just ideological clap trap. I’m also quite left leaning, but there’s a lot of non-sense going on. Any individual thing may be fine, but I don’t think it’s overly good that it’s now accepted you can bring all this identity politics stuff into how you represent history. The good intention behind it isn’t going to work while the history is well known.

    • The main issue over the debate is the depictions of history. It’s never a good thing to willfully misrepresent history and the fact people are attacked for questioning if this is happening is a seriously big problem. It’s actually a really troubling problem and a serious issue.”

      If a history book says, “a bunch of woman soldiers were running the battlefield in the World Wars!” that is historical misrepresentation.

      The videogame is not history. It’s a videogame. Which means this is not a misrepresentation. It’s a sandbox for playtime.

      Do you also think that a James Bond movie misrepresents the history of British spies? That would be an asinine opinion.

      It’s not a problem. It’s not troubling. It’s fictional characters in a fictional videogame. And it’s great.

      • Any depiction of history is a representionhistory. The medium doesn’t invalidate that.

        I think you’ll find some of the most common misunderstandings people have of history originate from depictions outside of history books.

        You haven’t even addressed my comment, so it’s hard to respond. It is troubling that people are attacked for asking why a change has been made. Or merely pointing it out, or not being on board with it.

        No one says you can’t have fictional stories in historical settings. You can make changes, but you shouldn’t live in a world where if someone points out something isn’t historically accurate they are attacked. Which is the problem I am referring to and that is troubling.

        You say it doesn’t matter because the history books aren’t changed. Then why is it a problem to point out what those history books say when comparing to how that history is represented in a popular entertainment medium?

    • “A big issue with these different gender models is the hitboxes. Will the female and male soldiers be the same size? Have the same hitboxes? There are basic game play elements over such issues.”

      Most games that have the choice between male/female use the same hitbox for both. You don’t necessarily see it, but the underlying hitboxes are the same. Same goes for different classes and the skins they use. They all have the same general hitbox, even though people will come up with a million excuses about why their bullets missed because they can’t accept that they simply missed. The skins are purely cosmetic.

      • You also get those big beefy female soldiers models. It’s about hitboxes but also how visible they are.

        Although this may be out the window with this game. Will teams even look consistent with the customisation?

        HC mode where everyones wearing different outfits and no consistent look.

        They need to clarify some of this stuff. Or will every army in every theatre of war have their own set of customisation?

  • You all realise that the trailer they showed was for the multiplayer right? Those were the customizable characters you get to play as. They showed one single player character, who was also a woman, but she’s a Norwegian resistance fighter most likely based on Anne Margrethe Strømsheim.

    Honestly the whole blow up over this showed how nobody actually did their research, they mentioned in the event that the trailer was on multiplayer yet nobody listened, and priorities being offended over being educated.

  • I’m all for getting creative with WW2. Hell, go the whole hog and have alien steampunk cyborgs with power swords. Sounds awesome.

    Just don’t use “real stories about men and women who changed history” in your marketing.

      • Actually I did think of that afterwards.

        If that’s the case, then no problem.

        They can go as bombastic as they want with MP.

        • Yeah I think they just wanted to go balls out with this trailer showing multiplayer which is unusual for DICE. But I guess it fits EA’s mindset that “noone cares about singleplayer”

  • Its much like the internet to polarise on this, where the reality is both sides are right.

    Battlefield has sort of built itself on faux plausibility over the franchise. But more importantly I think, its somewhat disgusting what appears to be DICE’s cultural revisionism in search of a buck.

    I don’t think any except the most fervent of basement dwellers actually cares about female characters being in games, but more the issues around the series as a whole, and a touch of money grubbing.

    • True. I have a deep mistrust of DICE / EA now. I tend to expect the worst.

  • Its amazing and hilarious watching all these people who initially chucked a hissy at women in the game backtracking and doing backflips to the ends of the earth to defend their opinions.

    • The BF games although taking massive amounts of creative license and such, have generally tried to make a realistic setting. Sure they add time period correct experimental weapons, ability to be revived etc, but it does need to be an entertaining game.
      I have nothing against women in the game I think it is a huge plus in MP, my GF for example always picks a female charectar if the option is given, although she is by no means a feminist she likes being included in the game, it’s hard to personalize a charectar when they can’t choose the correct gender.

      It just depends where the placement is to retain some of the “realism” in the game. They did it well with the Harlem guys in bf1 adding a demographic and keeping it as close as they could to history.

      If there were missions involving any of the resistance movements, the British intelligence or well… any part of the Russian army it would work well. A woman storming the beaches of Normandy would seem a bit out of place historically.

      Going by BF1 I think they will handle it well and most of the uproar at the moment is just over reactions and people drawing their own conclusions from what limited information we have at the present time.

      • I just find it funny that when Cod starting including women as pickable charaters in MP there was almost no outrage.

        The outrage over this is selective at best.

        • Cod is the home of teenagers and BF seems to get older players, going purely by stereotypes I have no actual facts to back that up. Maybe these younglings are just more progressive. Rather than old men set in their ways.

        • It’s almost like it’s not the simple fact that women are in the game that is the problem…

          • If thats the mental backflip they want to do to justify their beliefs. All the more to them.

  • Ermagawd!!!! The WIMMIN are taking our freedom!!!! All my 4chan bros like totally agree with me.

  • If they’re this worked up about historical inaccuracies in Battlefield, I wonder what will happen when they play Wolfenstein?

    • Wolfenstien never tried to sell itself on historical accuracy, unlike battlefield. It’s a moot point.

  • I agree it should be historically accurate, you should get one life and then once you died you could never play the game again.

  • I still take offense to the fact that scouts/snipers are to easy to see with their damn LED light shining off their scopes that is the same brightness no matter which direction of the map you are facing or where you are on the map.

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