Thanks to the near-constant complaining from leftist video game journalists at sites like Vice, Kotaku and Polygon, Battlefield 1 has been put in an awkward position.
Basically they have to market a fun and entertaining game, while making everyone feel the right amount of bad about World War 1. Electronic Arts did this well to an extent with their dour-toned single-player mode, but still caused hyperventilating by journos who thought the game was too fun in the face of tragedy.
But the controversy will not end, as Battlefield 1 still needs to sell copies and their marketing department wants to keep their Twitter feed light-hearted. Big mistake. Two memes from this weekend set the Internet off, prompting plenty of hand-wringing articles.
The memes were quickly deleted following a backlash online, but that didn’t stop Polygon from crying about it. “EA turns horrors of WWI into tone-deaf Battlefield 1 memes,” wrote Polygon, while Kotaku lamented how the tone of the game’s single player did not match the lighthearted marketing.
The memes’ hashtag #justWWIthings also sparked a slew of tweets condemning EA’s marketing practices.
— Phil Savage (@Octaeder) October 31, 2016
EA eventually issued an apology:
We would like to apologize for any offense caused by content in the last 24 hours posted on the Battlefield Twitter account. It did not treat the World War I era with the respect and sensitivity that we have strived to maintain with the game and our communications.
This is not the first time Battlefield 1 caused some meme controversy. EA’s COO Peter Moore got in trouble for tweeting out a Battlefield onesie that did not adequately mourn the millions who died in the trenches.
The continuing outrage spiral over the tastefulness of Battlefield 1 is ridiculous. The game will never honor the war to anyone’s satisfaction because it’s a fun, multiplayer video game. Something you play with your friends after work, drinking beer and laughing.
The game will always have an air of tastelessness, but that’s okay. Unless, of course, you are among the ranks of the perpetually offended, then you probably should be playing something else.