Earlier in May at the EA Investor Day Briefings, Patrick Söderlund – Executive Vice President at EA Studios, revealed he rejected Dice’s pitch for Battlefield 1. “When the team presented to me the idea of World War 1 I absolutely rejected it. I said ‘World War 1 is a trench war, it can’t be fun to play,” he said.
Luckily for Dice, they were able to impress Söderlund enough with early footage and gameplay from the newest title in the Battlefield franchise:
The team continued and persisted in the fact that this can be fun, and showed up with a very short demo that convinced me at least that this was the right path. The good news is whenever you take creative risks and it works, you actually can get to substantial success.
Caution surrounding the project is still somewhat widespread throughout the company, however. EA CFO, Blake Jorgensen, stated (as reported by Gamespot) that EA was “worried that many of the younger consumers out there didn’t know that there was a World War 2 or Vietnam,” which would make creating a game about World War I a huge marketing task.
Later, Jorgensen went on to explain why this time period will work for the franchise:
I think what people don’t understand about World War 1 is the technology shift that went on during the war. 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.
Battlefield 1 is set to release on October 21, and set the record for the most-liked trailer ever on Youtube. Check out the announcement trailer below: