EA was concerned that kids had no idea World War I happened

WWI? Yeah, yeah. Next you'll tell me that Titanic was a real ship and not a fictional setting for James Cameron's epic love story.

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In case you missed it, World War II was, in fact, the first World War. WWII was so big, so epic, that historians skipped I and jumped right to II. At least, executives at EA worried that younger audiences might think along those lines.

Speaking at the 2016 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference, Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen admitted that " 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..."

"Was almost passed over as a viable setting for a video game," is likely what he would have confessed to had he finished his sentence.

Jorgensen went on to explain that EA initially balked at DICE's proposal to root the next Battlefield in WWI because trench warfare didn't exactly brim with potential for fun scenarios. The technological shift the world underwent during that time seemed a better anchor.

"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."

Battlefield 1 is due to launch on October 21, a few weeks ahead of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and three weeks ahead of Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall 2. Or is that a few weeks before? EA knows, but isn't telling.

Source: GameSpot



Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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  • reply
    June 1, 2016 3:50 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, EA was concerned that kids had no idea World War I happened

    • kch
      reply
      June 1, 2016 4:12 PM

      WW1 was not taught very much when I was in school in the 90s. I knew it happened, I knew trenches and stuff, but did not know the reason or the major players. I owe my current knowledge of it to Dan Carlin.

      • reply
        June 1, 2016 4:22 PM

        I think it started when a man named Archie Duke shot an ostrich because he was hungry.

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        June 1, 2016 6:24 PM

        I couldn't finish that HH because I know the war pretty well and couldn't take where he was going. The sheer incompetence of the French and British High Command is appalling and the Eastern front was a total mess as well.

        • kch
          reply
          June 1, 2016 7:28 PM

          It's been a year since I've listened to it. What did you not like?

      • reply
        June 1, 2016 6:37 PM

        Yeah - prior to reading a couple of really good books on the subject in my 30s, my prior knowledge of WWI only consisted of trenches, mustard gas, the Christmas truce, and the Red Baron.

        • reply
          June 1, 2016 6:49 PM

          But you know it existed. The way EA is talking is like people don’t even know it existed.

      • reply
        June 1, 2016 11:22 PM

        "powder keg"

      • reply
        June 2, 2016 1:31 AM

        How old are you?

        We went over it on detail, but that may have been my particular history teacher.

      • reply
        June 2, 2016 4:26 AM

        Same here.

        I was born in 82, and elementary school basically focused on the whole Revolutionary War through Civil War period for the most part, then middle school we started on world history, and high school was just more in depth, though WW2 stuff got covered there too.

        WW1 when I was in school was basically just the war you knew happened because WW2 wouldn't be "2" without there being a "1". I don't think we learned much of anything about it.

    • reply
      June 1, 2016 4:16 PM

      This is why God invented market research and focus-testing.

    • reply
      June 1, 2016 4:27 PM

      Hell most adults in the U.S. barely have a grasp of it.

    • reply
      June 1, 2016 6:05 PM

      They really thought people would go "Well I'm not familiar with any "World War 1" so I won't give this new Battlefield game a second glance"?

    • reply
      June 1, 2016 6:06 PM

      We skipped using the #1 and just went to #2.

    • reply
      June 1, 2016 6:23 PM

      I learned essentially nothing about WWI at school in the 90s so yeah

      • reply
        June 1, 2016 6:28 PM

        That's probably because America had a pretty minor role in WWI. The aftereffects of that massive conflict changed the entire world, but at the time, America was barely involved.

        • reply
          June 1, 2016 8:32 PM

          basically this. i think spent maybe 3 days tops on the whole thing...maybe a chapter in the history book. here is why, here is who, we won, the end....OH HEY WW2 we love you!

      • reply
        June 1, 2016 7:35 PM

        I remember it getting loosely touched on because the Treaty of Versailles sets the stage for WW2.

    • reply
      June 1, 2016 6:36 PM

      We did a mock Versailles Treaty diplomacy game in high school world history and I was in charge of America. In the end I managed to annex Germany and Italy (who sold itself to Germany before I annexed them). All the other countries never got a cent in reparations. And then the rest of the world almost unanimously assassinated me which my successor took as an act of War and started World War 2 in 1919 with Russia joining forces with us against France, Britain, and Japan.

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      June 1, 2016 6:49 PM

      i remember canada was a big part of it so it was taught in our schools

      once y'all went into high tech shit like nuclear bombs and jets in WW2 we coudlnt do shit with our canoes and geese

    • reply
      June 1, 2016 6:59 PM

      It was covered extensively in Australia, at least when i was in school.

      • reply
        June 1, 2016 7:19 PM

        As long as ANZAC day is celebrated it'll continue to be taught to students.

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          June 2, 2016 1:28 AM

          I learned from a lot of folks and history, WWI is what cemented Australia as a true separate nation.

          From what I've been told, Australia was sort of a mix up of different establishments and regions and territories. After WWI, it was a nation. With a true identity and whatnot.

          • reply
            June 2, 2016 1:34 AM

            Also, as an aside, it is a trip to be a foreigner and learn and entire country's history at an adult age. I don't have to learn it, but I care about where I've picked to immigrate, so it's really interesting to learn stuff I was NEVER taught or exposed to at school.

            • reply
              June 2, 2016 4:32 AM

              Read up on the Kokoda trail... Some very interesting stories. I have a couple of books I can send you if you are interested.

      • reply
        June 2, 2016 2:20 AM

        [deleted]

    • reply
      June 1, 2016 8:14 PM

      In middle school and early high school I was REALLY into modern Military History (I already knew some of Roman and Viking warfare branching from my reading of the adventures of their Pantheons), and I read everything on WW1, WW2, and Korea (not much at all) that they offered in the school libraries.
      There was not a single book referencing the Vietnam conflict in any way. It had ended a decade before, but I guess We The People were still too embarrassed by it to talk about it with our children.

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        June 1, 2016 8:16 PM

        Slight Caveat: There may have been something on the Vietnam Conflict in the encyclopedias under Vietnam, but I didn't think to look it up that way.

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      June 1, 2016 8:19 PM

      We learned about it in school. We didn't spend a ton of time but it was definitely part of the curriculum.

    • reply
      June 1, 2016 8:33 PM

      We watched 'All Quiet on the Western Front', not much more education than that.

    • reply
      June 2, 2016 2:02 AM

      they should reboot History Line 14-18, that game was really good and taught my 12 year old self a lot about WW1

    • reply
      June 2, 2016 4:54 AM

      I heard there was a WWII I just assumed there was a WWI.

    • reply
      June 5, 2016 4:15 PM

      I recall WWI being covered in junior high (might have been 7th grade) and also a little bit in high school but not in much detail. In contrast, hundreds of hours out of multiple grades throughout junior high and high school were dedicated to WWII, especially the holocaust.

      Other important aspects of history were likewise ignored in favor of "bones of contention" the school district (or maybe the individual teachers) seemed to have with specific historical events. For example, I had to read The Crucible three times and see the movie twice. Movie+book in history and english, then the book again in another english class later on.

      Not talked about throughout junior high and high school:
      Mongols, the silk road, China.
      Greece and Persia. Though I do recall having to study Greek gods specifically.
      The Roman Empire. All 1400+ years of it, only mentioned occasionally in passing.
      Islam and how it spread through the Middle East, North Africa, some European territories.
      The Ottoman Empire. Never talked about.
      The Protestant Reformation was only mentioned as a lead-in to the establishment of New England.
      Anything involving Russia/Eastern Europe outside of WWI / WWII and the Cold War was not covered.

      Our history books were up-to-date enough to mention post-Vietnam presidents/events, but the curriculum ended at Vietnam. I was born in '86.

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