Rod Fergusson says it wasn’t all about the esports.
Hardcore tobacco users were probably a little disappointed (and everyone else a little confused) when it was announced that Gears 5 was pursuing a policy to eliminate any depictions of smoking. It was an odd announcement, especially since smoking has never been a big thing in the series to begin with, but well… it’s just kind of a strange thing in general. Many assumed it was due to a similar policy with ELEAGUE, where Gears 5 multiplayer just got shown off, but The Coalition Studio Head Rod Fergusson has clarified that it wasn’t about that- it was actually something he personally wanted to do for a long time.
Taking to his personal Twitter, Rod Fergusson said it wasn’t just about eSports. In fact, he revealed something interesting that, as far as I know, wasn’t known. He’s actually been active in stripping back depictions of smoking before. Fergusson specifically pointed to a character in Gears of War 2 that had a cigarette in the concept art, but he put a stop to it being in the final game. So, apparently, this is something that’s been ongoing with the series- it’s just the first time they’ve chosen to make it an official policy.
Gears 5 will release on September 10th for Xbox One and PC. Just don’t hold out hope that anyone will light up a cigarette at this point, if you’re into that sort of thing anyway.
To be fair, this isn't entirely accurate. I've been against smoking from the beginning and have worked hard to not make it a part of our franchise. Ever notice that the Dizzy concept art for Gears 2 has a cigarette but the actual character in the game doesn't? I stopped it. https://t.co/KahohpMH3A
— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) July 12, 2019