Dave Bautista is joining Gears 5 as a playable character after the WWE Clash of Champions pay-per-view event on September 15, 2019. Bautista has long been the subject of fan campaigns petitioning for his inclusion in the game, as he already has the physique and attitude of many of the Gears franchise's most popular and enduring characters.
Gears 5 is out in just a few days, and the game represents a major shift in the way that developer The Coalition will explore the universe's story. Gears 5 introduces a new protagonist in Kait Diaz and shifts the perspective of events quite dramatically, taking place during the first major Locust incursion of a new war rather than years after the fact when the war has already largely been lost. Gears 5 is also experimenting with co-op, switching to 3 player co-op rather than 4 - something that could shake up the way players experience the game. It's also one of the modes that could potentially house Bautista as a playable character.
Bautista announced he was joining Gears 5 as a playable character on Twitter today with a short video that featured him in the iconic COG armor that has been a series staple. Bautista also states that it's "about f**king time" in the video, which not only summarizes fan sentiment about his inclusion in the franchise, but could be a nod to Blizzard's StarCraft 2 announcement many years ago. It's not clear exactly where Bautista fits in when it comes to the game, but Bautista's character seems like an easy inclusion into Gears 5 multiplayer. It also seems to imply there might be a Gears 5-related event or segment at WWE's Clash of Champion pay-per-view.
In fact, there's a distinct possibility that the character is based off of WWE's Batista character, rather than Dave Bautista himself. The trailer announces "Batista" rather than the normal way of spelling the wrestler-turned-actor's last name, and the tie-in to the WWE pay-per-view makes that even more likely. Gears 5 features a lot of larger-than-life personalities already, so the character Batista would certainly have no trouble fitting in - although it will be interesting to see if it's the Hollywood version of the character or "The Animal" if that's the case.
Bautista joining Gears 5 as a playable character is yet another example of how fan sentiment can sometimes drive developers to adjust plans for their games. While it's possible The Coalition always planned to go and get Bautista for Gears 5, it's also just as likely that the many fan casting moments that suggested he would be a perfect fit for the series helped motivate all parties to collaborate on a partnership. However it came about, though, it's an awesome moment for Bautista, who already expressed interest in the Gears of War movie, and Gears 5 fans alike.
Source: Dave Bautista/Twitter