While their 10 week quest to spread a message of sustainability while visiting games studios across Europe may be over, there's still plenty to learn and enjoy from the videos that CEO of Matchmade Jiri Kupiainen and GamesForest.Club's Maria Wagner made along the way.
We followed them week by week - click here to see the series in full - as they documented their travels with exclusive video interviews with the big-name studios they visited.
Their 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 isn't going to happen.
In Malmö, Sweden Jiri and Maria caught up with Sybo CEO Mathias Gredal Nørvig to talk Subway Surfers and learn exactly how one gets a game to be downloaded four billion times… Sybo are also one of the founding members of the UN's Playing for the Planet campaign and Mathias has some great ideas on leading with values and using the reach of the games industry to fight climate change.
Jiri Kupiainen: A week before we were due to arrive in Copenhagen, the news that Subway Surfers had reached four billion downloads hit the gaming sites. Sybo had already been mentioned by many of our other interviewees as a frontrunner in climate action in the industry, and the news made it clear that we had to interview them. Luckily I knew Philip [Hickey] who recently joined as their CMO and Mathias the CEO from before, so we found a time that worked for everyone despite them being busy with post-GDC activities and completing the move to their new office space.
Running the company behind the most downloaded game in history and thus one of the biggest entertainment franchises on the planet meant that Mathias had a lot to say on how to build a company that can deliver something like this. But he’s also one of the key people behind the United Nation’s Playing for the Planet initiative, and Sybo has a long history of taking the planet into consideration in how they run the company and what they put in their games.
Out of the 15 episodes we’ve done, this ended up being the only one that only has one interview in it. We try to stick to an episode length of around 25 minutes, and in the end simply didn’t find anything else to cut in the great thoughtful conversation with Mathias. It’s also a special episode because Copenhagen was the last destination of our trip, making this the last “proper” episode of the YouTube series. Next we’ll move on to recapping what we learned, and hopefully turning these lessons into action.
I’ve said many times before that we’re not dealing with a lack of knowledge or resources, but a lack of leadership. We reach half the people on this planet and are the dominant form of media for this century - it’s time to accept the responsibility that comes with that. It’s important that we run our companies in a sustainable manner, reduce our emissions, compensate what we can’t reduce, etc. - but at the end of the interview, Mathias summed up the sentiment that has been building up in our tiny project crew beautifully:
“What you do in your office doesn’t matter, and what you do with one day's revenue actually doesn’t matter either - but if you can make four billion people aware of something, then I think we have something.”
What will we do with that power?