The community-run subreddit for the Battlefield franchise has made the decision to prohibit future threads regarding Battlefield V‘s “historical accuracy,” according to a post made by moderator sloth_on_meth Wednesday evening. Citing official Reddit confirmation that the subreddit was the target of “brigading,” concentrated efforts by other communities to harass community members and manipulate discourse, the moderation team has deemed the current situation untenable. One final thread on the topic of historical accuracy in Battlefield V is being allowed before the ban takes effect.
Battlefield V has become the focus of a not-entirely genuine major controversy since its initial reveal prior to E3. The game prominently features women World War 2 soldiers, an option in the game’s new character customization feature, as well as certain unique customizations including mechanical prosthetic arms. The controversy initially stirred within its community over the historical accuracy of such features and their inclusion in a game set in World War 2, as well as over a general disagreement over whether the Battlefield franchise ever prioritized historical accuracy in the first place.
The controversy has always had a virulent and malevolent edge to it, however, as certain extremist online communities took interest in the issue. At least one known white supremacist and misogynistic website and community specifically redirected its readers toward Reddit and gaming outlets like Kotaku, nevermind certain known extremist subreddits within Reddit itself.
That the Battlefield subreddit has struggled this long with only the support of its volunteer moderators is evidence of their dedication to the community. But there’s a point where the moderators have to acknowledge that all productive conversation is ending and what’s left is doing nothing but harming the community. Here are sloth_on_meth’s closing comments regarding the subreddit’s decision:
“This issue has been discussed in a million threads but we’ve never been brigaded more than we have in the past months. Admins can only keep up with so much. We’re done wasting our time on this, every point has been made, no you’re not sexists or whatever, but this is just repetitive now.”
No comment was made with regards to whether the decision will be reverted once the brigading ends and the Battlefield moderator team once again feels in control of the situation. Reddit officials appear to be working with the subreddit, as well as other subreddits where brigading was coming from, to prevent such actions in the future.
As for EA and DICE, the publisher and developer remain dedicated to their original vision of Battlefield V. EA chief creative officer Patrick Soderlund said the following on the first day of E3 2018:
“We stand up for the cause, because I think those people who don’t understand it, well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game. I’m fine with either or.”
Battlefield V releases on October 19 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.