The COG soldiers of Gears of War have one less health risk to worry about now, as all depictions of characters smoking have been removed from the upcoming Gears 5. After urging from Turner Eleague and the anti-smoking advocacy group Truth Initiative, Gears developer The Coalition has decided to remove smoking from all Gears games from Gears 5 onward.
Truth Initiative approached Turner, the esports broadcaster and organizer that owns the exclusive rights to broadcast Gears 5 gameplay, about the depiction of smoking in the game. In turn, Turner approached The Coalition, who agreed to the initiative.
“I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impact of smoking,” says The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson, “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.”