It was a warm February eve, one night a couple of months back, I got into bed that night with my usual cup of strawberry flavoured milk and settled in for some light Doom scrolling before drifting off to sleep to the relaxing drone of WW2 bombers as I do every night. (I need the white noise. I literally just can’t turn my brain off without it. I up the volume until the walls start shaking and imagine I’m heading over the channel, it’s the only thing that works..). So as I lay there to take in my daily dose of terror, sifting through the burnt out rubble that once were proud Battlefield content creators and influencers and those still pretending the game is fine, whom still occasionally dare to share a Tweet, I stumbled across a Tweet that I found intriguing.
Who is this Thurston guy? And is that.. is that #54 the 54th consecutive day he has asked @Battlefield what’s the deal with platoons? Oh hey DANNYonPC’s here.. and he replied with “haha”. – My God! Its True! #53… #52… No way! There’s Danny again “haha”… Wow! this is some dedication. 54 tweets @Battlefield. 54 days @Battlefield has had to reply, and still nothing, I couldn’t figure out what astounded me more, the fact that this guy had this much dedication, or that @Battlefield STILL hadn’t replied.
“Surely, this guy wont keep this up for long.. ” But I went to sleep that night buoyed, in the thought that someone out there was doing something about the elephant in the room, even if it was just a Tweet, but fairly certain that the effort wouldn’t extend past #60. I mean, three months every single day. No one has that kind of resolve against that kind of deafening silence. Do they? – But as sure day follows night, 61,62,63,64,65… Every, single, day! I couldn’t believe it! Again just astonishment by the sheer tenacity of it, but also the complete zero fcks given by EA/Dices PR team. I mean this was what you would call in media circles a “Softball”. Even if they didn’t respond directly in regards to the Platoons, simply responding at all surely would of silenced the man. And yet… The apparent sweet blissful ignorance continued… 66, 67, 68, 69. 70.
At this point, I think everyone following the saga began to realize that we now live in a universe where this Battlefield veteran, someone who is clearly passionate about the franchise was going to hit #100 consecutive days in a row, asking “Hey @Battlefield , what’s the deal with platoons?” and not get a solitary response from EA/Dice’s media team. Of course there was always hope that maybe, just maybe.. #100 was the number they were waiting for. Maybe they were milking the situation? Maybe they were just trying to get as many likes and retweets going as possible and then at the very last moment come in like heroes and put this poor guy out of his misery. Surely they would right? @CallOfDuty has conversations with people about what they ate for lunch SURELY they are going to respond right!??
The biggest problem Battlefield faces is not purely technical or design decisions or even a lack of content. It’s EA/Dice’s relationship with it’s community.
For Battlefield veterans like Thurston and myself, and those who grew up playing Battlefield, it was not Battlefield in and of itself that made the games so great. In many respects Battlefield was a conduit, a medium if you will. For teamwork, comradery and community. It appealed to the innate, tribalism deep in our brain stems, a yearning to be apart of something greater than ourselves. If you wanted to run and gun like a madman, and be alone on top of the score board, there were plenty of games out there that would cater to that, Call of Duty being one of them, but in Battlefield teamwork mattered. Working with others mattered. In fact it was a core tenant of the design. A squad working together, with a good composition of Medic/Assault, Engineer, Recon and Support, was infinitely better than a squad that didn’t. A team working together consisting of like minded and team oriented squads was infinitely better than a team of selfish individuals, and an entire PLATOON was the culmination of both squads and teams coming together, and from this, entire communities were born that still exist today, including this one! In fact we had so many members for Battlefield 4 at one point we had three.
If your like me, many of the friends you still game with you met 10 years ago playing Battlefield 3. Platoons gave those community leaders the tools it needed to create and run vibrant communities. For all the criticism Battlelog sometimes got, it was the glue that kept most of these communities together. Competitions and scrims could be managed via Platoons for example. The first “Oceanic Hardcore League” to which the freqplatoon participated in was run by creating a Platoon called “OHL” and having leaders from all participating Platoons join it which made match making simple. The possibilities with platoons was enormous, and trying to keep a Battlefield community together in its absence has been difficult to say the least. When you were apart of a Platoon you were apart of a team, and that team was apart of a wider community, the foundations of which have been next to obliterated, and the most troubling part is EA/Dice either seems to be unwilling or unable to see just what a critical role that platoons and therefor the community is to the success of Battlefield. And despite tenacious, passionate people like @TheThurston13 bringing awareness to the subject – The silence is deafening.
Massive thanks to @TheThurston13 for putting a smile on my face for the past 50 something days, you’re a credit to the Battlefield community brother. If your reading this and you haven’t already go follow Thurston on Twitter and subscribe to his Youtube channel.
Follow me on Twitter @Tailchaser358
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