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10 Weeks To Save The Games Industry – Week 2

Matchmade CEO Jiri Kupiainen and GamesForest.Club's Maria Wagner's quest continues.
10 Weeks To Save The Games Industry – Week 2
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The 10 Weeks To Save The Games Industry campaign continues! Matchmade CEO Jiri Kupiainen and GamesForest.Club's Maria Wagner are sustainably travelling around Europe spreading the message to games makers and communities that we need to get serious about what we can all do to help save the planet.

The message is a simple one. Unless we all get smarter about the necessity and logistics of our business travel, the global turnaround in CO2 production that we're all praying for simply isn't going to happen.

The journey began last week with the pair now two weeks into their campaign. Each week they'll be reporting into and sharing a new video on their YouTube. Here's their story so far (video below). Be sure to subscribe to their YouTube here and keep up with their journey.

Jiri Kupiainen: After wrapping up shooting our Berlin episode, we took the train to London with a short overnight stop in Amsterdam. Finding things to do while in transit didn’t present a problem in the least - most of the Berlin episode was edited on the train.

Our week in London flew past quickly, with the first two days spent giving talks and interviewing people at PG Connects, and conducting a few longer interviews at the offices of London-based companies. In the end we got so much good content that we had to completely cut out multiple interesting people, and still ended up splitting the London episode into two parts.

It was encouraging to see the enthusiasm of gaming veterans to participate in our project. One surprising recurring theme was that of mindfulness – whether it was from Chris James (Steel Media), Kate Edwards (Geogrify & SetJetters) or Philip Hickey (Sybo Games) everyone agreed that the first thing we should do as an industry is to take a step back and really think about why we do the things we do. What are we saying with the games we create? Do we need to take as many flights as we do?

Rob Small, the founder of Miniclip talked about the challenge of bringing serious themes like climate change into casual games that in the end primarily serve the function of giving people a short respite from their everyday reality. Do you want to be reminded that the world is warming up when enjoying a few minutes of virtual pool on your coffee break?

Generally, everyone seemed to agree that the industry has over-invested in growth over the past year or two, and while the longer term growth trend is set to continue, no one should be surprised that companies are making cuts and being careful with their spending now that times are tougher.

One key part of this project is the idea of also talking to people in different industries about ways they’re tackling climate change, like we did in the Berlin episode with fashion. The response in Berlin was good, but in other cities (I’m writing this from Paris) we seem to be hitting a wall. We offer companies free publicity and exposure to a massive industry that they could collaborate with, and yet we mostly get a sharp “no” or no responses whatsoever. We’re all in this together and stopping climate change is only realistic if everyone chips in, and yet the desire to collaborate across industries doesn’t seem to be there. Have I gotten too used to the friendly and collaborative spirit of the games industry? 


The first part of the London episode is now live (above), with an amazing set of interviews with industry thought leaders. The second part with longer interviews with two of my favorite gaming CEOs comes out next Wednesday, and you already know where the editing work for this one will happen.