The Coalition and non-profit organization Truth Initiative have worked together to remove the nasty habit from Gears 5.
Apparently, headshots, curb stomping, and chainsawing people to death is all fine and dandy. But smoking? That’s where a line is being drawn in Gears 5.
As part of a new collaboration with Truth Initiative, an organization that is dedicated to eliminating smoking and tobacco usage, The Coalition has eliminated all references that may have been found in Gears 5 to the addictive drug. According to Variety, this decision was made when Truth Initiative approached Turner, the company that has broadcasting rights to the Gears 5 pro league, and asked them to make the change. Microsoft has stated though that this decision was made entirely by The Coalition.
“I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impact of smoking,” said The Coalition head Rod Fergusson of this move. “It’s always been important for me to not use smoking as a narrative device, which is why we made the conscious choice to avoid highlighting or glorifying smoking in Gears 5 and throughout the Gears of War Universe moving forward.”
The process of removing all references to tobacco throughout Gears 5 has reportedly taken a few months. “We are 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,” said Robin Koval, CEO of Truth Initiative about his process.
As I playfully joked at the beginning of this article, it is a bit odd to remove smoking of all things in a game about war that features gratuitous amounts of violence and gore. Still, smoking is pretty lame and if this at all ends up having an effect on younger generations who might be exposed to Gears 5, I guess it’s a good thing. The fewer people that are smoking in the future, the better.
Gears 5 is set to launch later this year on September 10 for both Xbox One and PC. Starting next week, the game’s first beta phases are set to kick off.