There was news last month that EA Studio head Patrick Soderlund received and initially rejected a pitch from DICE for Battlefield 1. The Cheif Financial Officer of EA is Blake Jorgensen, who confirmed that there were concerns that the company’s younger audience was not even aware that World War I had taken place.
Jorgensen spoke at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2016 Global Technology Conference. He highlighted that there was undoubtedly some debate within the company about Battlefield 1’s setting. 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…”
Soderlund explained that one of the main reasons he originally rejected DICE’S Battlefield 1 pitch was because he personally felt it would not be possible to make trench warfare “fun”. However, World War I is far more than just battle techniques; it offered way more than that. After the developers were able to accurately convey this in a presentation of their ideas to EA, the project was confirmed.
Jorgensen thinks a fundamental thing about World War I that many people are unaware of is the dramatic technology shift that occurred. “People started the war on horseback and ended the war with airplanes and tanks and battleships and submarines. And that’s a huge opportunity for us to be able to do a video game around.”
Furthermore, World War I was fought across vast areas of Europe and Africa. This provides a large geographic spectrum to explore and implement within Battlefield 1’s content. The game’s announcement confirmed that people are apparently interested in a World War I battlefield game. The trailer that was produced has become the most-liked trailer for anything that is actively on YouTube. Jorgensen sees this as proof that there is genuine excitement surrounding the release of this game. It may not be indicative of future sales, but it is a positive reaction by potential consumers.
The Battlefield 1 game will launch on October 21st. Any person with an EA/Origin Access membership, or those who opt to pick up the deluxe edition, can buy it sooner on October 18th. There will also be a beta test held before the official release. In addition, the EA will broadcast a live stream of a 64-player match at E3 2016 as part of the company’s EA Play event.