Content warning: this story talks about suicide.
Gears of War studio The Coalition has pledged to donate money and help raise awareness about suicide for September's Suicide Awareness Month. The company said in a blog post that it will donate 1% of net revenue from Gears of War games and merchandise to organizations dedicated to preventing suicide and promoting mental health improvement. The donation period runs through June 2023, but the partnership for suicide awareness and prevention is ongoing, a spokesperson for Microsoft told GameSpot.
"This is a multi-year commitment our studio is making to give back to our community and create real-world impact," the studio said.
Crisis Text Line is The Coalition's first partner, and the studio hopes to work with more groups around the world in the time to come. Crisis Text Line is a free, 24/7 mental health support and crisis intervention resource that is available in the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland. People in the US can reach a trained crisis counselor by texting "PAUSE" to 741741 or WhatsApp at (443)-SUPPORT.
Crisis Text Line CEO Dena Trujillo said partnerships like the one with The Coalition are "critical to addressing the mental health crisis in America."
The Coalition's new program, Never Fight Alone, aims to help people who feel as if they are alone. The studio added that the Gears of War series is known for its themes of "loss, grief, trauma, and even suicide." The company added, "We build connection when we process hard things together, and the beating heart of Gears of War has always been about belonging and connection."
Microsoft is selling a Never Fight Alone t-shirt from the Xbox Gear Store and Game Planet. All proceeds from the $30 t-shirt go directly to Crisis Text Line. Additionally, Microsoft Rewards members in the US can earn points by playing any Gears of War game.
The Coalition's latest game was 2019's Gears 5. The studio currently has two games in development, both being made using Epic's Unreal Engine 5.