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DICE: Battlefield will get female multiplayer characters, but "not just to tick a box"

"We've been looking at how much it's worth, compared to how much we'd have to sacrifice," says Patrick Bach

War never changes? Not entirely true. DICE will almost certainly introduce female characters to Battlefield's multiplayer, the franchise's executive producer Patrick Bach has promised OXM, but the developer needs to work out how much it would have to "sacrifice" before going fully co-ed.

"Yes, but we don't know when we can do that," he told me during a recent chat. "We have been talking about it quite a lot. We've been looking at how much it's worth, compared to how much we'd have to sacrifice.

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"Because it's quite complicated, It's not just [creating] the actual character models, it's all the voice-over work. We have hundreds of thousands of lines that would need to be duplicated, because even now we're cheating quite a lot - we have random male voices, and then you have to multiply that by two. If we do it, we'll do it right, not just to tick a box or something."

Bach's words recall those of Capybara's Nathan Vella, developer of timed Xbox One exclusive Below, who feels that developers shouldn't create playable female characters simply for the sake of parity between the sexes.

"I think maybe - without trying to over-simplify it, because I do think that there are certain components of inherent sexism in terms of game protagonists these days - I think that the way it gets dealt with the best, the way that it gets dealt with the easiest, is just by honestly putting a character in the game that you feel passionate about putting in the game," he explained to me earlier this year.

The elephant in the room is, of course, Call of Duty: Ghosts, the first Call of Duty title to feature female soldiers in multiplayer. Infinity Ward undertook a "massive overhaul" of the game's engine to make this possible, the developer's Mark Rubin explained to OXM at a Ghosts event this summer.

Here's our latest Battlefield 4 multiplayer hands-on.

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