Battlefield 3 dev on decision to leave civilians out

EA DICE executive producer admits to self-censorship, says team didn't want to take the blame for players indulging their dark sides.


Battlefield 3

In 2009, Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 made headlines for its "No Russian" level, which allowed gun-toting players to walk through an airport casually gunning down helpless civilians. While Electronic Arts has made much of its aspirations to outdo the Call of Duty franchise with the DICE-developed Battlefield 3, that area of controversy is one the publisher is perfectly happy to let its rival own.

This should make it considerably easier to win hearts and minds.
This should make it considerably easier to win hearts and minds.

Speaking with Rock Paper Shotgun, Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach said his studio is drawing the line at populating its modern-day first-person shooter with innocent civilians for players to shoot.

"[I]f you put the player in front of a choice where they can do good things or bad things, they will do bad things, go dark side. Because people think it's cool to be naughty, they won't be caught," Bach said, adding, "In a game where it's more authentic, when you have a gun in your hand and a child in front of you what would happen? Well, the player would probably shoot that child."

While it would be the players pulling the virtual trigger, Bach told the site EA and DICE would be blamed for allowing them the option of shooting innocents. He acknowledged it as an instance of self-censorship but said that the development team is still trying to do something more mature with the single-player narrative of Battlefield 3.

For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous Battlefield 3 coverage.

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