Electronic Arts says 'female playable characters are here to stay'

The big Battlefield 5 reveal earlier this week was not without controversy, most of it driven by the presence of a woman on the cover of the box. And not a demure nurse watching over wounded warriors in the tranquil English countryside, no: This lady is pissed off and packing heat. As if that wasn't bad enough, another woman featured prominently in the guns-blazing debut trailer wielding a Tommy gun, a sniper rifle, and eventually, a cricket bat wrapped in barbed wire. (Yeah, it's that kind of trailer.) 

Their presence has prompted a considerable backlash from gamers concerned about the "historical accuracy" of Battlefield 5's representation of the war—never mind that such things haven't been too much of a pressing concern in previous Battlefield games, or "real war" shooters in general. There's even a #NotMyBattlefield hashtag making the rounds. 

None of which is going to change EA's mind or the direction it's headed. DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson spun up his personal Twitter account today to share a few thoughts on the matter, and there's no mistaking his position. 

"We want Battlefield V to represent all those who were a part of the greatest drama in human history, and give players choice to choose and customize the characters they play with," he wrote. "Our commitment as a studio is to do everything we can to create games that are inclusive and diverse. We always set out to push boundaries and deliver unexpected experiences. But above all, our games must be fun!"

To emphasize that last point, he tweeted another image that's been widely shared recently that really cuts to the heart of the conversation about Battlefield's commitment to history:

Naturally, not everyone is satisfied with Gabrielson's response, but it's certainly unambiguous—admirably so, I'd say. And honestly, if the biggest complaint about the "realism" of the BF5 reveal trailer is the presence of women (I mean, a V1 as a close-support weapon? Come on, that's just silly), then perhaps realism isn't the real issue at all.

Battlefield 5 is set to come out on October 11 for Origin Access subscribers, October 16 for the Deluxe Edition (which costs $20 more), and October 19 for the Standard release. Here's everything we know so far.   

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.