The Coalition boss Fergusson says studio wanted to make Gears 5 as approachable as possible

The Coalition boss Fergusson says studio wanted to make Gears 5 as approachable as possible

The head of Gears of War developer The Coalition Rod Fergusson has said that it designed the most recent release in the franchise to be more inclusive.

Speaking at Montreal International Game Summit - as reported by - the studio head said that the Gears of War series is known for being hardcore, but The Coalition wanted to make Gears 5 more approachable, with a focus on 'inclusive design'.

"Gears is known as being a pretty hardcore franchise," Fergusson said.

"I think Gears has the most number of people with tattoos of any game franchise I've seen in my life. And when this is your audience, how you think about expanding that to be a little more mainstream or more approachable is always a challenge."

He continued: "If you just do what you're doing without thinking about how to include others, your normal biases are going to kick in and you're going to forget people just because they're not part of your social circle, not part of your demographic. You're not thinking about them. It's just a reminder that if you want to include and grow your audience, you have to be very explicit about how you do that."

One factor in making Gears 5 more inclusive and approachable was the title being included in the Xbox Game Pass subscription service which opened up the project to a much wider audience.

"Before there was a $60 barrier, where you go, 'Do I want that game?'... But now this little tile was going to light up in their library for millions and millions of people," Fergusson said.

"So how do we welcome these people? These are people who maybe have no idea what Gears of War is."

At X019 last week, Microsoft boss Phil Spencer revealed that Gears 5 had actually outsold predecessor Gears of War 4 despite it being part of Game Pass.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.