When Electronic Arts revealed the teaser trailer for its new Battlefield game for the first time, it was probably hoping to spark a wave of hype across an excited fanbase. Instead, it found itself facing an outraged backlash that spread like wildfire. It didn't take long before the #notmybattlefield hashtag was trending on Twitter, and a vocal minority of fans were demanding change.
The problem? There were too many women in the Battlefield 5 trailer.
The initial backlash was laced with cries for historical accuracy, but EA's chief creative officer, Patrick Soderlund, says this gets the facts wrong. "These are people who are uneducated -- they don't understand that this is a plausible scenario," he told Gamasutra in a recent interview. "The common perception is that there were no women in World War II. There were a ton of women who both fought in World War II and partook in the war."
It's true -- there's a rich history of women fighting in the Second World War, from Russian sniper teams to the French Resistance.
Even if it wasn't a historical fact, Soderlund seems to argue that it would hardly matter. "Listen," he says. "This is a game. And today gaming is gender-diverse."
Soderlund says his team stands by their choice, and won't "take any flak" for the decision to include women in the game. As for the game's detractors? "Well," he says, "you have two choices: either accept it, or don't buy the game. I'm fine with either/or."
It's not the first time EA has addressed the backlash, either. Last month, EA's Osakr Gabrielson made the company's position clear: "Player choice and female playable characters are here to stay."
Biggest games of E3 2018See all photos
E3 2018 coverage at GameSpot: Wall-to-wall coverage of the show from our sister site, GameSpot.
E3 2018 coverage at Giant Bomb: Still more commentary and news from E3, from our colleagues at Giant Bomb.