Patrick Soderlund, Executive Vice-President of EA, initially wasn’t on board with Battlefield 1, rejecting the pitch from DICE stating that trench warfare couldn’t be fun. Even Blake Jorgenson, CEO of EA, admits that there were concerns about younger fans not understanding that the first World War actually happened. It seems like there were a few hurdles to jump over before Battlefield 1 eventually got the green light, but I never expected something involving history.
Jorgenson spoke today at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2016 Global Technology Conference, mentioning that there was “some debate” about the setting of the upcoming Battlefield release.
“World War 1, we were worried that many of the younger consumers out there didn’t know that there was a World War 2 or Vietnam, so World War 1…”
EA had to pitch the many aspects of a WWI setting, such as horseback riding and submarines. The amount of geographic space also provides opportunity for all kinds of settings.
“I think what people don’t understand about World War 1 is the technology shift that went on during the war,” Jorgensen said. “People started the war on horseback and ended the war with airplanes and tanks and battleships and submarines. And that’s a huge opportunity for us to be able to do a video game around.”
Considering that most of the first-person shooters around currently involve more futuristic warfare, so this will be a welcome change for a lot of players. Even though there was an initial concern about younger players not knowing much about World War I, this might ignite a spark and perhaps encourage people to learn more about it.