EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen admits that the company was worried that its younger Battlefield 1 audience wouldn’t know that World War I actually happened.
Battlefield 1‘s World War I setting seems to have been the right move by EA and DICE, as the game is enjoying a great deal of pre-release hype. However, there was once a time when EA almost passed on World War I for the setting of Battlefield 1, and apparently the reason for that was because the company didn’t think that its younger audience wouldn’t know anything about the war.
This is according to EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen, who admitted as much at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2016 Global Technology Conference. He said, “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…”
This worry led to EA almost rejecting DICE’s World War I pitch for Battlefield 1, but ultimately, the executives at the company were convinced that the setting could work. The gamble seems to have paid off, as Battlefield 1 has been positively received by the gaming community since its announcement, and it seems like its historical setting has a lot to do with that.
However, the reasoning behind EA’s initial reluctance to go with a World War I setting is interesting, as Jorgensen admits that Battlefield 1 is partly aimed at a younger audience. His statement may stir up some controversy, as Battlefield 1 will presumably be slapped with an “M” rating, just like most of the other games in the franchise.
While it’s no secret that the online multiplayer communities of many first-person shooters are populated by kids that are probably not old enough to maturely handle the explicit content, having a top executive admit that an upcoming M-rated game is aimed at kids may be a bad move. After all, the subject of video games causing violence has been a burden on the industry for decades now, and EA’s CFO admitting that Battlefield 1‘s audience will partly be made of people too young to know about major historical wars could add fuel to that fire.
Battlefield 1‘s attempt to be historically accurate could make it an entertaining learning tool for people that don’t know a lot about the World War I era, but whether or not it is appropriate for kids to play is up to parental discretion. Now that EA CFO Blake Jorgensen has blatantly admitted that Battlefield 1 is somewhat aimed at kids, though, it will be interesting to see if that causes any headaches for the company moving forward.
Battlefield 1 will be available on October 21st for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.