Open For Debate: CoD WWII Diversity

So I might make more posts like this one to open up debates on industry topics, but here is the current topic for debate: I’ve heard several people both online and in person say they would like the upcoming Call of Duty: WWII to have more diversity in it. Some said they would settle for a non white protagonist, others said they should add more LGBTQ+ characters to the cast. So the topic is should they add more diversity?

My stance on the matter is this: It is a historical game so it should retain historical accuracy.

My argument is that for campaign missions that follow the Americans, French or British armies it is perfectly fine for the player character to be black, latino or Jewish. If there are German campaign missions or a separate Axis campaign then the player character could be Italian or Japanese as an alternative for a white protagonist. Having the protagonist be female however would under most circumstances be historically inaccurate unless the character was a part of the French resistance in occupied France or some similar situation. As for LGBTQ+ characters i have to draw a few lines, gay or bisexual characters are fine as long as it’s handled well and not shoehorned in and in your face. Trans characters are an impossibility however because transgender was something that was not recognized and rarely if ever occurred during the time period of the second world war. Of course this is all applicable for the campaign but in multiplayer i couldn’t care less, the multiplayer isn’t based in any story so there is little need to maintain realism in my opinion.


Gonna start this one off with a reminder: keep it civil and respectful, violators will be bopped.


Good topic, and if you don’t mind I would want to chip in on this.

Now let me just start of by saying that I’m not really a COD Fan (but I’m also not a BF Fan, never grew up with those games during my teenage years) so I hope people here aren’t thinking that I’m taking sides.

With that out of the way, let me say that I agree with what you just said but let me expound on this just a bit (maybe a tiny bit).

Now basing from what you’ve said that this is a historical game, then historical context needs to come into play. I think the better to say is that this game will be based on history. I say this because I’ve assumed that the first entries of COD have always been historically based yet you play “certain white male protagonist” with a name whom is obviously not in the record books of either “American Army” or whatever. With that said however (and this may sound super contradictory), COD has never been like the AC series in the sense that they can implement tons upon tons of fiction into history.

So remember the whole diversity thing? Yes diversity is good but like most things, to some extent. In the context of the game, yes I would love to play a part of a black guy under the American or French or British army shooting some axis people in the head. Yes I would appreciate it if I played a Jewish who is fighting for his right not to be genocided. Yes I would appreciate to play as the Japanese that was fighting Chinese soldiers.And sadly it needs to stop to that because as you’ve said, historically based game with historical context.

Now before anyone of you tries to be like “Ken hates women and LGBTS” (if there are any who is sadly dumb enough to comment something like that), please remember that this is a game based on an era where women are to some extent, lesser than men and LGBTs are almost considered abnormal or even the devil at times.

Would I want someone to play an FPS that features either a woman or an LGBT? Abso-fucking-lutely. But sadly it has to be in a fictional world that is not based on history. (unless we use modern history because let’s be honest, we have progress to some extent - it just so happens that there are still people out there who are dicks about this - and there have been many great stories that pertains to a woman or an LGBT)

If you really wanna push females or LGBTs in the new COD game, then I believe the best bet is the devs will man up, and go balls to the walls crazy on the multiplayer. Like “So our singleplayer campaign was full of historical context right? Well you are in the multiplayer now, fuck those limits, time to have fun! Have a female avatar! Have an LGBT avatar!”

And one last thing, there is a difference with “Let’s make this game have diversity because some parts won’t feel natural or right if it’s another macho american white male” and “Let’s make this game diverse for diversity’s sake”.


You make a good point bringing up AC. They certainly seem to enjoy injecting crazy stuff with secret organizations and precursor species into historical events (don’t get me wrong i love the AC games, well most of them anyways…) but CoD could potentially make an alternate history game like Wolfenstein (great game, highly recommend) and make whatever changes they want. Obviously not with this one, they’ve already advertised it to be a historical game. But with their next entry into the franchise they could go full crazy with it and i wouldn’t care, so long as they advertise it as alternate history.


An alternate history game (or just a straight up spin off or whatever) sounds like the best way to put diversity in COD. Like may an alternate history where there are more women than men in the planet and they are ones in the army fighting the wars or something along those lines.

I think the main reason why AC can getaway with it is because since the first game, that was the ground work. You know the whole Animus thing has been established (and in my opinion, the main reason why Ubisoft has been able to explain all of the crazy ass shit they’ve been doing with the series).


To be fair i don’t think many people care about the modern world story so much since they killed Desmond and started going off the rails with the 2012 end of the world mumbo jumbo. And honestly i think it would be pretty cool if there was a good CoD that was based in an unrealistic setting but so far that hasn’t worked out for them. When they tried going futuristic and transhumanist, Titanfall and Deus Ex did it better. Realism seems to be the one thing they can pull off.

If realism is the only thing that they can pull off then I honestly think that they make another IP because it seems that the devs themselves have associated COD with Historilcal-FPS or Modern-FPS.

Also, I think that the devs should also not try to launch their sci-fi like fps game during the times when other sci-fi games that obviously do it better are within the same week.

Personally, I think the devs either need to 1) Go balls to the walls with the next COD and make it fun without worrying about gameplay limitations or story OR 2) As I’ve stated on the first paragraph, make a new IP that is not associated with COD if it means “saving their creativity” (using the phrase lightly)

I wouldn’t call making the same game three times creativity (not that i’m complaining, the modern warfare trilogy are in my opinion good games) but Activision has Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer by their collective balls in and endless cycle of CoD releases, I’m not sure if daddy Activision let’s them have original thoughts anymore, now they just look at what’s popular and say “I want some of that”. BF1 “Let’s do WW2 again!”, Titanfall “let’s do futrue shit with wall running and robots!” and yes i know advanced warfare was in production before Titanfall but that didn’t stop them from doing the exact same thing again with the Black Ops trilogy, and still fail to come close to how Titanfall did it. Honestly, there sales are dropping so their either gonna go the way of every EA studio that isn’t named Bioware, or Activision might just let them do something original, maybe… it’s a log shot though…

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Thanks for mentioning the bandwagonning thing. I was about to say that “It’s COD WW2 when the latest BF game is, you guessed it, a WW2 game”.

I honestly don’t think Activision would have the balls to let these three studios do their own thing and hope for the best.

EDIT: As a business, I fully understand that you need to gain revenue (or in this case sell games) to offset the cost of making the product. But you know, gamers have become smarter over the years and they aren’t as susceptible way back when people would just jump on the newest COD game as if Jesus Christ himself came down to Earth and liberate all of the good people of humanity.

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I don’t have time to do a deep-dive on this topic at the moment, but I wanted to add a counter point (to stir the pot a bit, of course).

I generally view the calls for games to maintain “historical accuracy” to be rooted in some pretty specious arguments at best. Keep in mind, we’re talking about a game with a mode where you fight Nazi zombies, not to mention the (likely) thousands of other little historical inaccuracies that players will gloss over because it makes the game more fun, approachable, and appealing to a mass-market audience.

Ultimately, because of this, I find it hard to take folks who complain about inclusions of diversity “ruining” games seriously, especially when that diversity can mean a lot to people who are rarely represented in media, particularly in gaming. If adding LGBTQ or POC to games means a small subset of gamers have their experience “ruined,” I feel that’s a small price to pay for to improve the experience for marginalized groups.


I think that when it comes to this kind of debate the big question is always: What do the developers want to make? What do they think is best for the product they’re trying to produce?
The developers have an artistic vision and, so, It is usually the best option for the game when they don’t have to compromise it,

Based on that, I would say that historical accuracy isn’t that big a deal. If the people making the game believe that what they’re doing improves the game in some way, then I think they can throw history out the window and do what they think is best.

In regards to the inclusion topic, I would say that it is always best when videogames tell different stories and give You experiences that aren’t just angry, white, burly men with guns but it would be good if they did it because they want to do it and not because the’re pressured into it.

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I give nazi zombies a pass because it’s advertised as alternate history and is disconnected from the main campaign (and let’s face it, it’s why we buy the Treyarch games) and yeah the games are full of inaccuracies like certain guns being where they shouldn’t. But having a gun in a battle that wasn’t used in that battle in actual history doesn’t break illusion because it’s such a minor detail it would only break the extension of disbelief for hardcore historians. But having Black Germans or Women soldiers is a huge change that goes against even the most common knowledge of WW2 and breaks the extension of disbelief for just about everyone.

Personally, I think single player should maintain historical accuracy. However, for multiplayer do whatever the heck you want.