Battlefield 1 publisher EA has announced the game's first female multiplayer character, to be added via upcoming expansion In The Name of the Tsar.
Battlefield's global community manager Dan Mitre shared our first look at the fighter on Twitter last night. The unnamed soldier will be part of the 1st Russian Women's Battalion of Death.
The all-female squad was formed in real life in 1917, and was one of several such battalions from Russia to be involved in the war.
Yes, she's a female from a brutal WW1 formation, the 1st Russian Women's Battalion of Death, represented by the Russian Scout class. pic.twitter.com/Tcp8JW0szB— Mitre (@dan_mitre) May 22, 2017
It marks a change in position for DICE, which PCGamesN previously reported had chosen to exclude female avatars the game's multiplayer mode.
Including female multiplayer characters was originally part of the base game's design (in the words of one ex-DICE staff member, "screw realism, we're adding female soldiers, because we're way overdue").
The original BF1 pitch given onstage was WW1, with one caveat: "screw realism, we're adding female soldiers, because we're way overdue".— Amandine Coget (@LiaSae) June 12, 2016
This changed, however, as DICE decided female multiplayer characters did not appeal "to the core audience of boys".
I did eventually get them to spit out the real reasons.— Amandine Coget (@LiaSae) June 12, 2016
All that is believable but female soldiers are not, to the core audience of boys.
Even if this is just in DLC, it's pleasing to see the decision changed.