Fans of Electronic Arts Battlefield 1 were outraged to find the game unplayable over Christmas, at least in the way they are accustomed to.
In a stunning move, DICE locked out players from entering multiplayer deathmatches for the next week, between December 23rd to December 30th. The reason for this radical lockout: to recreate the famous Christmas Truce that occurred in World War 1.
“Part of the goal of Battlefield 1 is to provide as close to an authentic experience as possible,” stated a spokesperson from DICE. “It is why our single player campaign attempts to recreate important moments and people within The Great War, with a little bit of modern flair to them, so re-enacting the Christmas Truce is just another way to give players the full Battlefield experience.”
Instead of the standard Battlefield 1 experience, players will have the ability to play football online on three in-game maps: St. Quentins Scar, Armeins, and Giant’s Shadow. This is to simulate part of the festivities of the real Christmas Truce, which saw German, French, and English soldiers stop their advances in the trenches to meet and play Soccer against each other on the open battlefields for a week during Christmas. The truce, which occurred in 1914, was widespread between all three armies in Europe, but failed to resurface in subsequent years.
DICE noted that they had help from the FIFA team in developing the football match mode. “It was a joint effort, proof that our companies can simulate anything,” stated DICE. “The FIFA team is invaluable for their expertise in providing this new multiplayer mode to the game.”
Reaction to the sudden change has been overwhelmingly negative, however. While most fans likely didn’t notice the change because it was right over Christmas, others were baffled by the new gameplay mode, believing it has nothing to do with the Battlefield series and simulating a “real-life” event was injecting too much realism into the title.
The Christmas Truce of Battlefield 1 is another attempt by the developers to marry historical accuracy with fun gameplay. This has been a point of contention between Battlefield 1 players and DICE since the game’s launch in October.
DICE has noted that after the Christmas Truce period is over, the football mode will be locked from the game until next Christmas. It is likely the number of players participating in the gameplay mode will diminish as the years go by, a fact that DICE acknowledges.
“Much like the real truce, we saw less and less people celebrating Christmas and instead killing each other after 1914,” stated DICE. “In a weird way, a diminishing player-base helps simulate that perfectly, so their active participation provides the perfect blend of historical accuracy and fun in our eyes.”
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