Gears 5 To Remove References To Smoking And Tobacco

Gears 5 will be a completely smoke-free game

Variety reports that broadcaster Turner was approached by the Truth Initiative to discuss smoking in the game.

Depictions of smoking are found in some of the most popular video games.

"I've been against smoking from the beginning and have worked hard to not make it a part of our franchise", Fergusson wrote on Twitter. This event will also be the first showcase of Gears 5. An Xbox Games Studio representative says the final decision to remove smoking was made entirely by The Coalition.

In a statement to Variety, Rod Fergusson, head of game studio The Coalition, said "Gears 5" (the official name for "Gears Of War 5") will "avoid highlighting or glorifying smoking". Gears 5 will still have the shooting, gore, and dismemberment the Gears of War franchise is known for.

Turner VP for Sports Sales, Seth Ladetsky, said The Coalition's decision, which took months of thinking, is backed by statistics.

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Fergusson continued with "There was no smoking to remove from Gears 4 or 5 because there never was any smoking to begin with".

It's not the most obvious series for an anti-smoking group to work with, given how little we associate smoking with Gears - Barrick is probably the only character ever regularly seen with even a cigar - but as Fergusson says, personal reasons can be at play alongside simply crunching the numbers of "how many characters are smoking". But Turner Senior VP Seth Ladetsky noted to Variety that removing tobacco references doesn't have almost as much impact on the nature of the game as removing or toning down the violence would. According to developer The Coalition, however, that won't be happening in Gears 5 or in any Gears game going forward.

Gears 5 hits PC and Xbox One on September 10, 2019.

"Moral police" or not, though, the Gears of War 5 smoking ban is insanely hypocritical.

A representative for Xbox Games Studio, the publishers of the game, informed Variety that the decision was made and done exclusively by The Coalition. Players will be able to purchase Iron (the in-game currency) so they can spend it in the game's store, and there will also be an optional purchasable that provides accelerated progression for a period of real-world time.

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