Following last month’s news that EA Studios boss Patrick Soderlund initially rejected DICE’s pitch for Battlefield 1, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said today that there were concerns the company’s younger audience didn’t even know World War 1 happened.
Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2016 Global Technology Conference, Jorgensen said there was “some debate” inside of EA about Battlefield 1’s setting.
“World War 1, we were worried that many of the younger consumers out there didn’t know that there was a World War 2 or Vietnam, so World War 1…” he said.
One of the reasons why Soderlund originally rejected DICE’s Battlefield 1 pitch was because he thought trench warfare couldn’t be fun. But World War 1 offered much more than that, and once developers presented these ideas to EA, the project got the green light.
“I think what people don’t understand about World War 1 is the technology shift that went on during the war,” Jorgensen said. “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.”
Jorgensen also mentioned that there is a huge geographic opportunity for Battlefield 1’s content, since World War 1 took place across all of Europe and northern Africa.
It appears people are indeed interested in a World War 1 Battlefield game. The game’s announcement trailer is now the most-liked trailer for anything on YouTube. Jorgensen said this speaks to the “excitement” that exists around the game, even if it might not necessarily be indicative of future sales.
Battlefield 1 launches on October 21, though people with an EA/Origin Access membership or those who pick up the deluxe edition can get in on October 18. Additionally, a beta will be held sometime before launch.
In other news about the game, EA will broadcast a livestream of a 64-player match at E3 2016 as part of the company’s EA Play event.