"Gears 5", the next installment of the third-person gaming franchise "Gears of Wars", will be a non-smoking property.
The game, due out on Sept. 10, comes from Xbox Game Studios and game developer The Coalition. The decision to remove all smoking references from "Gears 5" was taken after the nonprofit Tobacco Control Organization Truth Initiative contacted Turner, whose ELeague esports division held the rights to distribution of the title. Turner worked with The Coalition to eliminate smoking.
Turner is promoting the partnership with Truth for the summer competition of the summer ELeague Gears series. The esports tournament will take place from July 13 to 14 with live coverage on Twitch – the first time fans will see "Gears 5" in action.
In a statement, Rod Fergusson, studio director at The Coalition, said, "I've witnessed the devastating impact of smoking. It has always been important for me not to use smoking as a means of storytelling. That's why we deliberately chose to avoid underlining or glorifying smoking in "Gears 5" and the entire universe of Gears of War in the future . According to a representative of Xbox Games Studio, the decision was made solely by the coalition.
Previous titles of "Gears of War" included occasional tobacco scenes, with some characters holding cigarettes or cigars. Seth Ladetsky, executive vice president of Turner Sports Sales and head of strategy and sales for Turner Sports Digital and ELeague, said Seth Ladetsky.
"It took a lot of time and a lot of thinking," said Ladetsky. "It's the right image for ELeague – and the game itself – to project."
Of course, "Gears 5" always includes a ton of shots and definitely glorifies the violence. The game is rated "M" (for ages 17 and up) for blood and blood, loud language and intense violence, according to Microsoft.
Is there a double standard for maintaining violence while the parties involved welcome their anti-smoking stance? On the one hand, as the video game industry has repeatedly stressed, there is no evidence of a causal link between violent crime and gambling. Ladetsky said the elimination of smoking does not alter the nature of the game itself, and he cited a research that shows a correlation between greater tobacco exposure in entertainment and a higher incidence of smoking. adoption of smoking among young people. "When you delete these images, it has an impact," he said.
The news that "Gears 5" is quitting comes after Netflix announced last week that it would remove tobacco images from its originals, which should allow younger viewers, to except for the maintenance of "historical or factual accuracy". tobacco use in popular television series among 15-24 year olds had risen sharply over the last year – and Netflix's original series "Stranger Things" and "Orange is the New Black" among the worst offenders for showing tobacco.
Truth, which is dedicated to ending smoking among young Americans, has targeted smoking images in video games because of their popularity among young consumers. For example, 62% of US viewers are between 18 and 34 years old, according to research firm Activate.
"In the midst of the widespread reappearance of glamorous smoking images in pop culture, we recommend [The Coalition] Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative, said: "We smoked" Gears 5 "and ELeague for introducing this tobacco-free game to the competition." "We hope this decision will encourage other game developers and streaming tournaments to follow suit and improve the gaming experience by adopting a tobacco-free approach."
"Gears 5", released by Xbox Game Studios and developed by The Coalition, offers five different game modes and promises the "deepest campaign to date". Here is the description of the scenario of the game by Microsoft: "Kait Diaz describing the war in all its states to move away to discover its connection with the enemy and discover the real danger for Sera – itself. "
This weekend, the ELeague Arena at Turner Studios in Atlanta will host the first online sports tournament for "Gears 5", which will bring together eight of the best "GOW" professional teams. The Elite Eleague Gears Summer Series Invitational Tournament will begin on Saturday, July 13 at noon ET and will be broadcast live on ELeague's. It will resume Sunday, July 14 at noon ET and will stay live until a winner is crowned.
In addition, ELeague has produced six one-hour episodes of the "Gears of War" professional competitions and the following star players, who train and perform around the world. "ELeague Gears Summer Series: Fraternity Links and Betrayals" will continue on Friday, July 26th at 11pm. ET / PT broadcasting on TBS.