Apparently the Gears of War series was originally meant to have a more serious story rather than the testosterone-fraught, manly-on-steroids atmosphere the games became known for. Cliff Bleszinski said in an interview with IGN that the macho atmosphere was one of several things he regretted after finishing the Gears of War 3, including its linearity and, understandably, Marcus’ hideous soul patch.
The direction Gears of War took differed from its original imagining, with Marcus and his squad having a more solemn relationship, according to Bleszinski.
I didn’t always make these dude-bro games at Epic. I never, for the record, burst into the office and said, ‘I want to make the manliest game ever made, I want guys with necks as thick as tree-trunks, I want them screaming as they have blood flying on the screen.’The intent was to make [Gears of War] a lot more Band of Brothers and take it a lot more serious.
Bleszinski said the slide from bromance to brofest occurred because Epic had fallen out of practice in writing story based games. Apparently, Marcus originally looked like a normal sci-fi soldier, but as he hulked out in modeling the team became attached to the burly aesthetic.
According to Bleszinski, during the production of Fortnite, Epic’s upcoming game, and any upcoming Gears of Wars games, the development team will implement what it’s learned about storytelling, as well as linearity, replayability, and the probably the datedness of soul patches as well.