Battlefield 1 players hoping to recreate World War One’s Christmas truce couldn’t rein back the bloodlust of those eager to kill the fresh wave of new players.
In real life, the Christmas Truce of 1914 was a near-miraculous cease fire across many fronts in World War One. It came after Pope Benedict XV suggested a brief hiatus from fighting. Soldiers put down their guns to share meals with their enemies, have snowball fights, and play soccer. In Battlefield 1, however, the killing never stopped this Christmas.
Ever since a round of datamining during the game’s beta revealed the existence of a Holiday Truce dogtag, players have speculated how the truce would be handled in game. Would the servers be shut down? Would there be a snowball fight game mode?
It turns out that nothing major happened at all. While the existence of the dogtag was confirmed when DICE gave it out to players, the developers didn’t do anything else to commemorate the truce. A few brave players tried to organise their own truces instead, but nothing took hold.
“Damn your truce,” one player said on the Battlefield 1 reddit. “I want my n00b harvest.”
“Fuck that shit,” another said. “I bought a war game to kill people.”
Battlefield 1's campaign included a surprisingly serious and respectful take on its setting, so a Christmas truce event seemed like a natural way to spend the holidays. Some other games have done similar commemorations, including the indie Steam shooter Verdun, named after the World War I battle of the same name. That game included snowball fights and letter writing as part of its Christmas truce.
This time around, players will have to settle for their dogtag and a handful of free battlepacks. Maybe next year, the digital trenches will be a bit less bloody.