Gears 5‘s release is drawing closer everyday. Rod Fergusson‘s team is in the news again after they confirmed Gears 5 will not contain any sequences or scenes depicting its characters smoking. Head of the studio The Coalition, Fergusson declared they are going to shy away from glamorizing the addictive habit. Fergusson went on a bit of a rant in a series of tweets explaining why his team did this, and he seems extremely dedicated to tackling the problem of tobacco being glorified in video games, movies and TV shows.
Gears 5 is an M-rated game, just like its predecessors. Esports leagues are known to be anti-smoking companies, and have influenced that through marketing in their tournaments. Fergusson will most likely allow his game to have competitive tournaments, and this tobacco elimination may be a push in the right direction for The Coalition’s newest addition to climb the top Esports competitions.
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
According to Variety, Gears 5 characters have been seen with tobacco cigars in the game before Truth Initiative contacted the ELeague’s owner. Fergusson’s tweets reveal that his father, a smoker, died when he was 38-years-old. In his efforts to reduce the glorification of the deadly habit, Fergusson said he stopped the appearance of them in their games since Gears of War 2, back in 2008.
Fergusson later relays that he isn’t trying to police or preach to fans and other viewers that smoking is bad, but rather stop glorifying it. “I didn’t want to glamorize something that is addictive and kill you,” he said, according to Gamespot. “Wasn’t trying to [be] any moral police, just reflecting my beliefs after losing friends to lung cancer. If you had the ability to create a world, what would you change?”
My dad smoked. He died of a heart attack at age 38. I was 4.
— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) July 13, 2019
On a lighter note, Gears 5 is less than two months away. The fifth numerical addition of the Gears saga is set to be released on September 10. It includes a new campaign, a new horde mode, revised controls and an updated, exciting multiplayer mode by the Microsoft developers.