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EA boss originally rejected Battlefield WWI pitch

The team persisted, and EA now believes World War I is "right for the franchise and right for EA."

When the team at DICE pitched EA Studios boss Patrick Soderlund on the idea for a World War I Battlefield game, he rejected it, Soderlund said today at the company's annual Investor Day briefing.

He said the idea of trench warfare was not all that exciting. However, the developers persisted, and eventually convinced Soderlund to greenlight the project. It was officially announced earlier in May as Battlefield 1 -- and it has a lot more than trench warfare.

World War I "wasn't the most obvious choice," Soderlund said. "If you look at what other partners in the industry are doing, they're going into sci-fi; we've had a lot of success in the modern military space. But we felt like there was a need for a change."

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Electronic Arts

"When the team presented the idea to me of World War I, I absolutely rejected it," he added. "I said World War I, it's trench warfare; it can't be fun to play."

Soderlund said he is now convinced that the World War I setting is "right for the franchise and right for EA."

He added, "We have to remember that so far, we have only shown one trailer. Yes, it's gotten a lot of success, but what's important is that we have to go back and make sure we deliver on the full promise of what Battlefield can be. And that we will do."

While we don't know everything about it just yet, the announcement trailer for Battlefield 1 showed off things like horses, swords, triplanes and tanks. Lead designer Daniel Berlin said one of developer DICE's goal with Battlefield is to "challenge some preconceptions" about World War I.

He also remarked that other big-name shooters are going in a different direction. He didn't name any games outright, but Battlefield's biggest competitor is Call of Duty. This year's entry, Infinite Warfare, is set in the future, with the gameplay taking place in part in outer space and on other planets.

Keep checking back for more from EA's Investor Day briefing, which is going on right now.

Battlefield 1 launches on October 21, though people with an EA/Origin Access membership or those who pick up the deluxe edition can get in on October 18. Additionally, a beta will be held sometime before launch.

In other news, Battlefield 1's announcement trailer is the most-liked trailer on YouTube, while Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's is the most disliked. Additionally, DICE has confirmed the game will have a server browser, while it's also been announced that some of the game is set in the Italian Alps.

For more on Battlefield 1, you can check out GameSpot's roundup of everything we know so far.

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