EA is changing the name of a new Elite avatar in Battlefield V to avoid making “any political statements.”
Also, he was a freedom fighter in real-life and not a Nazi general.
Battlefield V came out late last year returning to the terrors of World War II. Despite being ostensibly about a war between Nazi Germany and the Allied forces, the game released without a hint of Nazi iconography. There are no swastikas, no symbols of the Third Reich, and besides a general attire that just screams Nazi soldiers, everyone on the German side is referred to as simply that: German.
It seems odd for EA to shy away from the mere mention of the word Nazi in a game where players fight as or against Nazis, but that’s just 2019 for you.
Recently, developer DICE released a new DLC character for the game called Wilhelm Franke, an Elite avatar with a penchant for explosives. He wore a very Nazi-esque overcoat, a very Nazi-set of jackboots, and a very Phantom of the Opera mask covering up what is most likely a horribly disfigured face.
In the DLC description, he’s revealed to be a German general, but as German publication ArchaeoGames points out, Wilhelm Franke was actually a Nazi resistance fighter living in Dresden.
Rather than fight the allies, Franke fought against the corruption of Nazi Germany and ran a cigar shop in the middle of town that served as a meeting point for local resistance fighters. He was eventually captured by the Gestapo in 1944 and held in prison for a year. He later died during the Dresden bombing raids of 1945 mere months before the end of the way.
Throughout his life, Franke’s message was for democratic socialism, not militant nationalism. Which kinda looks bad for a developer trying to avoid making a political statement in their game about World War II.
"We’ve become aware that one of the names of our Elites, Wilhelm Franke, shares the name of a real-life resistance member in Germany during the Second World War,” EA told Vice in an emailed statement. “We want to apologize as we certainly didn’t mean any disrespect to him. We are in the process now of changing the name of our Elite in the game.”
EA went on to say in their statement that the Elite formerly known as Franke was never a Nazi, despite the obvious Nazi affectations and wanton disregard for the lives of allied soldiers. “ 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.”
No swastikas, but they’ll definitely change the name of a fake German soldier so as not to confuse him with a real-life anti-fascist.