Since the trailer dropped in early May, the new title coming out of EA has gained a lot of traction and support. The trailer itself has had more than 32 million views on YouTube and has been EA’s most seen trailer in the the company’s entire history. However, the direction they took was rejected at the first pitch. Patrick Söderlund, Executive Vice President of Electronic Arts, confessed his initial reaction towards the idea in the company’s annual Investor Day briefing yesterday.
Söderlund stated he had a strong connection to the Battlefield series since Battlefield 1942, in which he helped build from his first apartment 15 years ago. Even with his strong connection to the series, when the team presented him with the idea of going back in history, he had no interest in taking the leap. “It wasn’t the most obvious choice” stated Söderlund at the briefing, “if you look at what other partners in our industry our doing, they are going into sci-fi. We had a lot of success in the modern military space”. Söderlund went on to explain that despite their success in what they felt comfortable with, “we felt like their was need for a change”.
The team faced hard criticism right from their first pitch to Söderlund (English is not his first language):
“When the team presented to me the idea of World War 1, I absolutely rejected it. I said World War 1 is Trench Wars, they can’t be fun. The team continued and persisted that this could be fun and showed up with a short demo that convinced me that this was the right path.When you take creative risks, and it works, you can actually get to substantial success.”
The company as a whole continues to celebrate their announcement on the game and the leap they decided to take with this direction. “The World War 1 theme is resonating with players out there and I think we have done something that will be right for the franchise and right to EA”. Söderlund finalized his opening statements on his portion of the briefing by stating that the company is keeping in mind that though they released one trailer for Battlefield 1, they are keeping in mind the importance of delivering the full promise of what battlefield can be “and that we will do”.
What do you think of the direction that EA went with the game? Should they have stayed with the competition and continued in modern combat and sci-fi, or was going back to World War 1 the right move?
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