Battlefield 2042 Developer has claimed that the premise of a war involving exploitation of refugees amid a climate disaster for “Gameplay reasons all along the line”. But it is really impossible to deny the socio-political context behind the setting of the game.
Battlefield 2042 is a game that at first glance appears political by nature – the highly anticipated first person shooter takes place in a world ravaged by a climate apocalypse that unleashes an unprecedented refugee crisis that leads to soldiers being drafted into a new world war. However, strangely enough, the game’s developers claim that they are not trying to make social comments.
A Interview conducted by IGN Shortly after the game’s unveiling trailer was presented, Design Director Daniel Berlin’s perspective made it clear. While his response is on behalf of DICE, the main developers of the Battlefield Franchise, suggested that setting the game for purely narrative purposes, it is impossible to separate the premise from existing global politics.
After seeing the reveal and becoming more and more aware of how many of them Battlefield 2042 Issues seemed to arise directly from the events currently unfolding, asked Luke Winkie of IGN Berlin directly about her intentions:
“[Battlefield 2042] speaks of expatriated people, we speak of citizens displaced by climate change and war. Do you have some kind of sensitivity to these issues?
Is there any social comment anywhere about what you are trying to do? Or is it just a multiplayer game? “
Berlin’s unabridged answer clarified its stance on the political impact of the game or its lack:
“For us it’s definitely a pure multiplayer game. The reason we chose to go this route is to create a narrative with this world that we can create through the eyes of the no-pats [refugee warriors].
We wanted to bring in more spectacles and more massive events. The setting fits in perfectly. It fits in that order of magnitude and gives us reasons to go all over the world. It has gameplay reasons across the board. “
There was a technological blackout that led to mounting tensions between nations. You play as these refugees, called no-pats, and decide which superpower (USA or Russia) you fight for.
Sounds very politically charged, doesn’t it?
– Cade Onder (@Cade_Onder) June 10, 2021
It’s hard to believe that even Berlin believes its own words. Battlefield 2042 is a game that revolves around the two superpowers USA and Russia and recruits citizens at risk to slaughter each other in the battle for resources that are becoming scarce due to a climate crisis. It seems less like an impossible dystopian dream, but more like an interpretation of a gloomy but plausible future scenario.
The appeal of such a dramatic, apocalyptic location from a developer’s point of view is undeniable – scenes in a sandstorm-ravaged Persian Gulf and an Antarctic devastated by the oil industry will inevitably add to the drama. But it is naive to fake situations that could certainly occur in the real world when ecosystems have reached their limits.
Ubisoft: “We are not making a political statement with our game”. pic.twitter.com/zB69bTruVD
– Darren McCarthy (@TheDazeel) May 28, 2021
Battlefield 2042 is not the only upcoming major title that claims not to make social statements of any kind. Ubisofts Far Cry 6 has caused a lot of confusion lately, with the game’s narrative director jumping the gun and insuring it “Our game does not want to make a political statement about what is happening specifically in Cuba”before clarifying that the game is indeed political.
This trend of developers leaning backwards to avoid being perceived as “political” is worrying. In an effort not to alienate potential viewers or to be questioned about their political attitudes, they feign a dangerous ignorance of reality and fail to recognize the very real causes of potential future disasters such as a climate apocalypse.
EA can continue to adhere to their narrative that the hiring of Battlefield 2042 is pure for “Gameplay Reasons”but that doesn’t mean a critical audience will perceive it that way.