There will be no depictions of smoking within Gears of War 5 after developers The Coalition met with an anti-smoking group known as the Truth Initiative.
This news arrives via an exclusive from Variety, in which it is explained that the move to ban smoking was enabled via a collaboration between Turner Sports and Truth Initiative – who sponsored the ELeague Summer Series Invitational which took place over the weekend and introduced players to Gears of War 5 gameplay in a competitive setting.
Whilst references to smoking in previous Gears of War games haven’t exactly been egregious (especially when you compare them to the perhaps more troubling gratuitous violence) there have been a number of instances where characters have been smoking cigarettes or cigars.
Robin Koval, CEO of Truth Initiative told Variety that the organisation is “hopeful that this decision will encourage other game developers and streaming tournaments to follow this lead and level up the gaming experience by going tobacco free.”
In a reply to a tweet from IGN about the decision to remove smoking from Gears of War 5, Studio Head at The Coalition Rod Ferguson made a statement about the pushback against smoking within the game.
“Just to clarify, I’ve always been anti-smoking and have pushed back on having it in Gears since day 1. There was no smoking to remove from Gears 4 or 5 because there never was any smoking to begin with. And as long as I’m in control, there never will be. Sorry for the confusion.”
This will all come to pass when Gears of War 5 drops on September 10th later this year for Xbox One and PC. In this instalment, players take the reigns as Kait Diaz and follow her as she fights to uncover the origins of the vicious Locust!