gamescom 2015

Here's Why Gears Of War Was Absent From Microsoft's Gamescom Briefing

by Mike Futter on Aug 04, 2015 at 11:03 AM

If you were patiently waiting for Marcus Fenix to make an appearance at Microsoft's briefing today, you might have been confused by his absence. No, Microsoft hasn't forgotten about Gears of War Ultimate Edition and Gears of War 4.

Yesterday, the publisher announced big news for Gears fans. All four Xbox 360 games are included for those that play the Ultimate Edition before the end of 2015. Microsoft didn't save that for the show today, because it couldn't.

Gears of War is still restricted in Germany, and there are strict rules about what can be broadcast from within the country. A Microsoft representative told us that there could have been penalties had the company showed a restricted game on a broadcast originating in Germany, regardless of the global viewership.

Gears of War Ultimate Edition is still on track for August 25. We'll have more on the Gears titles later this week from Gamescom (we can still see them behind closed doors, even while here in Germany).

Update: Reader "backspacer" provided some additional clarity that helps us understand how German ratings work. Gears of War (and its sequel) are not technically "banned," but are severely restricted. This makes their sale impractical, and publishers often opt not to engage in distribution of titles in that category at all. Such is the case with Gears of War, and because of its classification, was not shown on stage today.