EA Is Changing the Name of a Nazi in 'Battlefield V' That Belonged to a Real-Life Resistance Fighter

EA is changing the name of a purchasable Nazi avatar in its online WWII shooter Battlefield V after learning the character, WIlhelm Franke, shares a name with a real-life anti-fascist resistance fighter in Nazi Germany.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/a3x4y8/ea-is-changing-the-name-of-a-nazi-in-battlefield-v-that-belonged-to-a-real-life-resistance-fighter
1 Like

Ah yes, I’m no history buff, but from what I remember, WWII, as well as war in general, is -checks notes- not political at all.

16 Likes

Like i mean at this point, not political has basically lost all meaning right, like its just being used as a “no comment”

7 Likes
18 Likes

It’s used in that way, but when you think about it, that’s not what it means. A “No Comment” means the thing may not even exist. A “Not political” acknowledges it exists. So if it’s a fundamentally political thing (like a symbol) and they claim “not political,” they’re either trying to have it both ways OR have got no idea what the hell they’re doing.

shrug

2 Likes

I pray to the gaming gods that one day, a developer will be brave enough to make a political statement. Such as: “Nazis are the bad guys”. When will the brave step up for us gamers?

2 Likes

"The aforementioned Elite, Wilhelm Franke, whose name we’re changing is not a Nazi, but a German solider similar to ones we already have in the game. In Battlefield V , we’re not making any political statements in relation to the real life events of WW2 and there are no swastikas in the game.” … Last year, after the studio released a Battlefield V story chapter following a tank crew fighting on the Nazi side, the studio clarified to the media that the chapter’s protagonist is not a Nazi, just a German, and that the chapter depicted “the German perspective.”

Does DICE know that the German soldiers in World War II were Nazis? I thought that would have come up during the research process while making a game about World War II, but maybe not. Anyway, I know from being on the Internet during the Charlottesville march that it’s extremely important to be precise in our use of the word “Nazi,” and that people who split hairs about who precisely counts as a Nazi while wearing their symbols and killing for their cause are most definitely arguing in good faith, so there’s nothing here to worry about.

2 Likes

Remember when games used to have the opposing team always look like the bad guys? And the opposing team would see YOU as the bad guys?

Man… What a time.

I mean Wolfenstein did it and got heaps of praise for clearing this incredibly high bar.

6 Likes

And then they started leaking Wolfenstein 3 and revealed one of the main characters is now running the FBI.

…yeah…

war? not political? musta listened to the latest beastcast

2 Likes

I’m just surprised to learn that Dan Ryckert apparently works in the EA PR department.

3 Likes

Wait is this true? Wtf

It is a mix of fascinating and terrifying to watch very recent well documented history be systemically converted into myth before our very eyes. I feel like in fifty years, WWII will be reduced mostly to costume and style more than actual fact.

1 Like

Yup! It’s a black woman to boot.

My initial inclination was to make a snarky comment about how ‘keep politics out of muh games’ and historical purity crowds will of course be silent on this.

But the more I think about it, the scarier it gets. The extreme Right along with bad-faith actors are so thoroughly controlling our political discourse that they’ve got ““centrists”” 1 step away from holocaust-denial talking points.

3 Likes

I’ve come to believe that the games industry largely thinks being “political” is being didactic. Like, there’s always the chance that “we’re not being political” is a marketing ploy meant to stir up conversation, but I think the white dude liberals who make up A LOT of the AAA space just genuinely believe that to have politics in a game is to have overt soapbox-y messaging

2 Likes

I am so tired…

What a bar to clear to, before even saying Nazis are bad, admit your WWII game has Nazis and hey maybe glorifying them and capitalising on Nazi aesthetic is perhaps not the greatest move.
They’ll rather double down on feigned ignorance than backing down from potential revenue.

The AAA space continues to be cynical garbage.

2 Likes

If they had done this for BF5, there would have been a “let me play as the nazis” backlash (maybe even a petition?) which would have really helped illuminate the issue for what it is on its face, rather than the vague “historical accuracy” crap they always hide behind.

2 Likes

It’s handled in a “we’re all roleplaying as our favorite team” sort of way that Battlefield Hardline treated cops and robbers, or Battlefront treated resistance versus imperials.

In the latter case, the imperials are an obvious analogue for nazis, but there was always a buffer of them being cartoonish enough villains that someone can roleplay as The Bads without onlookers questioning your judgment.

Nazis can’t and won’t every have that degree of cultural remove (for good reasons), and there’s such a heavy pall of sketchiness over people claiming to collect or wear their memorabilia, that the scenario has been played for laughs in a few comedies.

This is the logical end point of treating any potential set dressing over a gamified system as culturally inert, so long as it doesn’t have an impact over those systems.

3 Likes