In recent news, Electronic Arts CEO, Andrew Wilson, addressed the departure of chief design officer Patrick Söderlund. The latter name is the same one who called Battlefield V critics uneducated and did not want them to buy the game. Well, he left EA and is now looking for his “next life adventure.”
If you don’t know who Söderlund is and what recent controversies he’s stirred up with EA and crew as of recent, he’s the same one who took up an interview that Gamasutra published ahead of the full version, which depicts him angered over the massive backlash that Battlefield V has received for its fantasy sci-fi take. Söderlund explained that adding more women to the game was something the team pushed for and that they did so because “there were a ton of women” who fought in the war:
“On the [women] in Battlefield, this is something that the development team pushed,”
“Battlefield V is a lot about the unseen, the untold, the unplayed,” he continued. “The common perception is that there were no women in World War II. There were a ton of women who both fought in World War II and partook in the war.”
Söderlund would also bring his daughter into the whole fiasco with the following:
“We felt like in today’s world—I have a 13-year-old daughter that when the trailer came out and she saw all the flak, she asked me, ‘Dad, why’s this happening?’”
“She plays Fortnite, and says, ‘I can be a girl in Fortnite. Why are people so upset about this?’ She looked at me and she couldn’t understand it. And I’m like, ok, as a parent, how the hell am I gonna respond to this, and I just said, ‘You know what? You’re right. This is not okay.’”
Later, Söderlund would also address critics of Battlefield V or people pointing out obscene stuff featured in the reveal trailer calling them uneducated and wouldn’t mind if they didn’t buy the game:
“These are people who are uneducated—they don’t understand that this is a plausible scenario, and listen: this is a game. And today gaming is gender-diverse, like it hasn’t been before. There are a lot of female people who want to play, and male players who want to play as a badass [woman].”
“And we don’t take any flak. We stand up for the cause, because I think those people who don’t understand it, well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game. I’m fine with either or. It’s just not ok.”
According to my good sir AlmightyDaq — who has a very good track record of predicting Battlefield stuff — he claims that there are some people at EA DICE that hate some of the things going on there, like the decisions made by the level designer. Whether there are skeletons waiting to come marching out of the closet remains unknown, but what is known is that Söderlund is jumping ship.
In addition to the above, Wilson wrote the following open letter on ea.com/en-ca/news stating that:
“Patrick has been a trusted business partner and a great friend, and his inspiring leadership has had an outstanding impact on EA. As an integral part of the management team for many years – including as head of Worldwide Studios and, most recently, Chief Design Officer – he’s been an agent of change and transformation. From his early vision for Frostbite, which has now become a cornerstone for our technology strategy, to being a champion for Players First experiences, Patrick has always ensured we put creative at the center of everything we do. He has also been unwavering in his commitment to building our pipeline of amazing new games to come, and his fingerprints will be on the experiences that we bring to players well into the future.”
Lastly, there’s no telling where Söderlund will move off to or what his next project/occupation will be, but the work that he defended — which is Battlefield V — is currently set to come out on October 19th, 2018, across PC, PS4, and Xbox One.