Battlefield V Preorder Controversy
- Battlefield V Gamescom 2018 Trailer -While this article contains details surrounding the preorders and events surrounding the upcoming release of Battlefield V from EA and Dice, there are conlcusions, observations, and opinions of the author. This is a commentary of the author, and does not represent any opinion of Game Infinite as a whole. Despite any controversy or issues with the preorders, Battlefield V is still planned for playing and reviewing for Game Infinite.-
Recently it came out that the preorders for the upcoming military shooter Battlefield V have been “weak”. Since this details arrived in the press, many are flocking to give answers for the reason. There are some valid theories. This is the first shooter from EA since the whole Star Wars Battlefront II controversy. For those unaware, the Battlefront 2 controversy upset many gamers on the accused pay to win and aggressive focus on micro transactions and loot boxes. The gaming community rose up and told EA NO. Even Disney had to get involved, and eventually EA caved and since then Battlefront 2 has been stripped of all micro transactions and remaining loot boxes are purely cosmetic. It is obvious the game was not designed for purely cosmetic system as there is barely any content to make the loot boxes worth it anymore. However, the game has improved and many are eager for the new Clone Wars content coming closer to Holiday 2018. That being said, many gamers may simply be hesitant to trust EA with another game. Battlefield V has been set up for failure from day one with being the one to follow Battlefront 2; therefore, EA really needed to do a huge marketing “apology tour” for Battlefield V, and instead we got a boring and underwhelming Trevor Noah news broadcast. When you compare it to the rockstar stage that was the Call of Duty Black Ops 4 event, it looked kind of lame. Seriously, BO4 is removing features, charging the same if not more, and people cheered them on in a huge exciting over the top keynote that resembled more of a rock concert than a press conference.
Meanwhile, dudes sat around calmly chatting about Battlefield V. EA made the mistake of hiding the 3 hour in-depth look of BFV behind closed doors, and instead of parading how beautiful the game actually is we got CONCEPT ART. That’s right, we got art, and a short trailer. Cod’s first beta has come and gone, and we still haven’t even had a chance to play the beta yet. This game needed to be marketed to the extreme and its reveal needed some pomp and circumstance to get people excited. Love it or Hate, Battle Royal is here to stay and is the hottest word in gaming. Call of Duty shamelessly showcased it to thunderous applause, while EA flippantly added an “Oh yeah is has Royal”. We got no mode name. We got no look at this mode. We got no logo. We didn’t even get to hear them say BATTLE royal. This game has a marketing fail, but it looks beautiful and I’m excited for it.
Aside from these contributing factors, we have the unfortunate controversy surrounding its portrayal of women in the game. Unlike any previous controversy ever surrounding women in gaming, it has nothing to do with over sexualizing of characters, nothing to do with the “save the princess” trope, or some kind of other mis-portrayal. This controversy has to do with the AUDACITY that EA and Dice had to actually PUT WOMEN IN THE GAME! Yeah that’s right, you read that right, Battlefield V has a woman on the cover, and in the game. Shocking. If you can pick up your jaw from the floor for a moment and stay with us, all joking aside, we realize the uproar is honestly a small minority. Most gamers probably don’t care. Most don’t care that theres women in a WWII game, but some trolls are trying to make it about that. When the initial poster came out for BFV there was some backlash from the online community. It’s unfortunate that in 2018, this had to be a controversy. Perhaps controversy was too strong a word as it came and went as quickly as any internet fad. EA released a brief statement that essentially boiled down to “tough, if you don’t like it don’t buy it”. Of course now, with the fact that there are poor preorder sales, some of the trolls have returned to goad even some of the most popular Youtubers into blaming it on the women in the game. The internet exploded with BFV memes about being SJW focused (Social Justice Warriors) and liberal agenda and over politicized. Now even as a moderate conservative, I don’t agree with any of those claims. The Alt Right is attacking this game and making us look bad. One of my favorite youtubers in gaming Angry Joe, was being blasted on Twitter and Youtube. The Alt-Right was out in force accusing him of being an “SJW” and “EA Shill” all because he proposed an alternative theory for why the game is having poor sales. Here’s the thing. All the troll hate and corporate mistrust for EA is obscuring a huge issue no one is addressing in the game industry. I feel it is the real reason Battlefield V is having preorder issues, and it affects all of us. Even if you don’t care about Battlefield or EA this issue affects all gamers. Angry Joe suggested (in addition to the BF2 backlash and poor marketing) that we have something worse…
Do you remember Titanfall 2? No. Well I do. That game was amazing. It had the best campaign I’ve seen in a military shooter in years, and next to Overwatch it was the second best game we got in 2016. I guarantee you can find it in the bargain bin at Target; there are dozens sitting unopened on the back shelf of your local game store. I’ve seen it for as low as 9$! What happened? Well EA decided it would be a good idea, not only to release it up against Call of Duty Infinite Warfare (Yes, I know but that still sold A LOT) and its very own Battlefield 1! Not only did they release it against THE two biggest shooters of the years (they were all released within weeks of each other of Holiday 2016) but they released it against one of their own! To this day, EA still doesn’t understand why Titanfall 2 failed. I guarantee you if Titanfall 2 had released at any other time of the year it would still be a gamer household name like Overwatch. That’s the problem. Poor timing killed the sales of just one game. Now, fast forward to Holiday 2018… We have:
Red Dead Redemption 2 (made from the only people to beat CALL OF DUTY in recent history)
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 (The highest selling series in the COD franchise…now with BATTLE ROYAL)
Assassins Creed Odyssey
Soul Caliber VI
Super Smash Bros.
Tomb Raider (3) EA looked at this mega list and said, “Yeah, let’s drop a new game in the midst of all that and barely market the game.” In recent memory, I can’t think of a holiday season more overloaded: The biggest COD series ever, Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to sell like crazy. Remember, Rockstar is the only other team to beat COD with GTA V. With that one exception, it has been years since anything has ever outsold COD. GTA V is still one of the biggest games in recent history even years later. Top it all off we are getting a new Assassin’s Creed game, a huge new Pokemon RPG, and the new SUPER SMASH??? Who at EA looked at this wallet killing three months and thought it would be smart to release a game there? That was even before KINGDOM HEARTS 3 was delayed! Seriously, BFV, Red Dead, and COD are all releasing within just a couple weeks of each other. What makes this whole conversation worse is just how stale and empty the rest of 2018 has been. So far, what have gotten? It’s a pretty crazy empty year. January though August 2018 was one of the emptiest driest patches of game releases I’ve ever seen, and all of a sudden everything is dropping in a practically a three month period. It’s like the game studios (and honestly more likely the publishers) are so greedily focused on Christmas they ignore all the other releases. It’s like they are a bunch of Betta Fish thrown in a giant pool and they are all fighting over the same tiny little spot. Why should we as gamers care about this trend? A few day’s after this controversy spun out, it got some extra gasoline that Battlefield V’s preorders may be as low as 85% below that of COD BO4’s! That’s insane! Analysts are saying this could be a serious financial blow to EA. We should care about this trend of overcrowding a few months because it could kill favorite games. In the gaming industry, all it takes is poor sales of ONE game to permanently ice a franchise. Mass Effect? Bioshock? Are we ever getting sequels? Some of my favorite franchises are releasing games in this cluster fire of a release window. Darksiders 3? Soul Calibur? Tomb Raider? These are all medium hitters that are going to get stomped to DEATH by Rockstar and Activision. The reason this matters to all gamers is because overcrowded release windows can kill games we love and kill sequels we want. We as the gaming community need to rally together to show these publishers we want games spread out during the year. Hopefully as well roll into 2019, mid year games like Anthem and Rage 2 will sell well enough to show the publishers that games need to launch at other times too. We will see how this story continues to evolve and keep you apprised right here on Game Infinite.