Battlefield 5 design director says playable female characters will put him on 'right side of history'

One of Battlefield 5's design directors has said the inclusion of playable female characters in the WW2 shooter will put him on the "right side of history".

Commenting on the fan backlash about the presence of women in the upcoming game, which was revealed last week, Alan Kertz said: "I knew this was going to be a fight when I pushed for female soldiers in Battlefield. I have a daughter, and I don’t want to ever have to answer her question of 'why can’t I make a character that looks like me?' with 'because you’re a girl'.

"I fundamentally feel to my core this is the right way, and I will find myself on the right side of history." 

His comments came in this Reddit thread. When asked why EA Dice had chosen this game in particular to introduce playable female soldiers, Kertz said it felt like "an inevitability", and that "the excuses were running out".

"I also know a lot in society has changed and for me personally I grew up a bit and looked at the world with new eyes. From within the industry we’ve seen so much male domination, for whatever reason, and I work for a studio and a company that recognizes the value of diversity in what we do as game makers. That’s been a big deal for me also.

"Sometimes just enough things come together to make it happen. It felt like an inevitability. The excuses were running out and the support was it happens now."

Kertz also predicted that "many people will play the game despite their reservations", and that in doing so they might "learn something about either history or themselves". 

On fan criticism that the way Battlefield 5 depicts female soldiers is not historically accurate, Kertz said that making the game was a "balancing act" between authenticity and creating a shooter that is "engaging in the long-term". He also pointed out that previous Battlefield games had not always aimed for complete historical accuracy.

"I think there's some great authentic WW2 experience[s] out there, from Day of Defeat [to] Post Scriptum, each offers its own flavor. Let’s not forget the first Battlefield WW2 game had a Jetpack DLC, and the Russians used an MP18/Japanese SMG. 

"We want to create the most immersive experience we can create, and that pushes us towards physical and some authentic elements. We also want it to be engaging in the long term. That’s always a balancing act. I am sure we hit that mark, not for everyone, but we will hit the mark."

He did not name himself in the thread, but the username, Demize99, matches with his Twitter handle. 

Samuel Horti

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play.