Gears 5 will feature no smoking. Gears 4 didn’t either, and tobacco products only had the most fleeting appearances in the original game. Last week, developer The Coalition, anti-smoking group Truth Initiative, and esports broadcast partner ELeague announced the lack of tobacco in formal terms – and in doing so, ignited yet another conversation about videogame censorship as we speed toward the Gears 5 release date.

Variety’s report on the partnership includes a quote from Truth Initiative CEO Robin Koval, who says “In the midst of the pervasive reemergence of glamorized smoking imagery in pop culture, we commend [The Coalition] for taking smoking out of Gears 5.” But it appears that “taking smoking out” is a small but important mistake in phrasing.

Rod Fergusson – modern chief of the Gears series – says “I’ve always been anti-smoking and have pushed back on having it in Gears since day one. There was no smoking to remove from Gears 4 or 5 because there never was any smoking to begin with. And as long as I’m in control, there never will be. Sorry for the confusion.”

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