DICE executive producer says he wishes they'd added women to Battlefield 1, as well as Battlefield 5.
Following the furore over the addition of female soldiers in Battlefield 5, DICE executive producer Aleksander Grondal, says that in retrospect, he wishes they'd added them in Battlefield 1 too.
In an interview with GamesRadar+, Grondal said that if adding women to the series was about "getting on the bandwagon," the team would have done so when they made Battlefield 1, but admitted that he thought it was a "shame" that they didn't.
"I think it’s a shame we didn’t [add women], because that perhaps would've been better for us. I don’t think it’s a bandwagon thing, I think it’s about gamers wanting to express themselves in different ways.
"If you take a look at Battlefield historically, it’s been about expressing yourself through gameplay, solving problems the way you want to, and these characters fall perfectly in line with that thinking."
The news that Battlefield 5 would include female soldiers was met with some negativity, to the point where reddit was done with historical accuracy hot takes.
Oskar Gabrielson, general manager at DICE, responded by saying that, "player choice and female playable characters are here to stay," while EA's Patrick Soderlund (who is leaving the company in a few months) has said that players have "two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game."
"Of course, any time that someone is upset about some choices that you make in the game, it’s not great," Grondal said, addressing the backlash.
"It’s not what you want to do, you want to create a game that’s the best game for all our players. That being said, we decided to make a game that involved personalising a character, creating your own company of soldiers. And we thought it was right that you could be able to be whomever you wanted to be in that context.
"We stand by that. I still think it’s the right thing to do, and I still think it’s the right thing for us as a franchise. It takes a good bit of balancing."
The extent of the customisation options in the game were touched on in this week's Company trailer.
If you're still excited for Battlefield 5, you can join the PC and console open beta on September 6. Players who pre-order will get early access and can dive in on Tuesday, September 4.
DICE has also confirmed that the title will have a battle royale mode, that is being developed by an unknown studio, but details are thin on the ground on what we can expect from it.
Battlefield 5 launches on October 19 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.