Female soldiers will not be playable in Battlefield 4's single or multiplayer modes, DICE has confirmed, despite rumours to the contrary.
"I can already now say that you won't be able to play [as a] female in multiplayer," creative director Lars Gustavsson told VideoGamer.com during Battlefield 4's reveal event last night.
And unlike Battlefield 3, which saw players briefly play as jet pilot Lieutenant Jennifer Hawkins, the same is true of the game's single-player, too.
"When it comes to single-player, [in Battlefield 3] you shuffled around numerous characters as you played and it was more about the geopolitical events. This time around, everything from direction to actors, to how we built the engine to deliver the human experience and connection to these digital actors, we've also chosen to go for one main character that you play, and with that, that is not a woman, as you might have noticed.
"The geopolitics is more of a backdrop to what happens, it's more [about] you and your group, and we chose to pick a man for it. It seemed to suit the story."
So why hasn't DICE opted to include playable female soldiers in Battlefield 4?
"Trust me, there are a million things I would like to do," continues Gustavsson, "it's just that you can't pick them all.
"I have the deepest respect for the men and the women who choose to do military service. It's not that anyone is better or worse. It's definitely a valid question that we asked ourselves."
Rumours surrounding playable female soldiers first appeared last year in information rumoured to have leaked on a Chinese forum. Other information leaked by the source, including information on the game's three factions, appeared to be accurate.
Battlefield 4 launches this autumn on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Next-generation versions have yet to be confirmed.
Source: VideoGamer.com interview held at Battlefield 4's reveal event in Stockholm. Travel and accommodation provided by EA.