EA has has been heavily criticised for controversial tweets promoting shooter Battlefield 1, which make light of the horrifying events of World War 1. Developed by Swedish studio DICE, the game is based on the events of The Great War, which took place from 1914 to 1918.
The tweet in question was posted by the official Battlefield Twitter account on 30 October and said "Weekend goals #justWWIthings". It also included an animated gif of an in-game soldier using a flame-thrower on another soldier, with the caption: "When you're too hot for the club".
Another tweet posted a couple of days prior asked users if they had plans for the weekend and included both the aforementioned hashtag and a gif of soldiers in the game standing in front of a burning zeppelin with the caption "When your squad is looking on point".
EA since deleted both tweets, but screenshots have been embedded below.
In a statement, an EA spokesperson said: "We would like to apologise for any offence caused by content in the last 24 hours posted on the Battlefield Twitter account. It did not treat the World War 1 era with the respect and sensitivity that we have strived to maintain with the game and our communications."
EA has courted controversy ever since it announced the game in May, due to the nature of the conflict and the need for a measured and mature approach to its depiction and the game's marketing.
In September, EA marked the success of the game's open beta by pointing out that the number of people who played it was twice that of the number of soldiers deployed in the Middle East by the British and Ottoman Empire during World War 1.
The Great War ran from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918 and spanned the globe. It cost 17 million people their lives and injured 20 million more. Battlefield 1 is the highest profile video game to ever depict the conflict, and will have an audience of millions of players – comprising largely of a younger audience not used to seeing this particular period of history depicted in entertainment.
While it is entertainment, the game itself is more tasteful than these tweets suggest. We commended DICE in our review for this approach. While EA would be responsible for the wider marketing of the game, it's not clear whether they or DICE have control of the Battlefield Twitter account.