It's a wrap. On their 10 week-long quest to spread a message of sustainability, CEO of Matchmade Jiri Kupiainen and GamesForest.Club's Maria Wagner traveled 14,000 kilometers by train, bus and ferry, visited 25 cities and interviewed 38 leaders working in games and sustainability (full cast of characters below!)
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.
And now, with the duo safely back home and hours of great video in the can (DO check out their YouTube channel here) it's time for one final episode… Time to take a look back, think about what we've learnt and remind ourselves of the work that needs be done in the future.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.
Jiri Kupiainen: We’re back in Berlin, where our journey started in late January. On our travels, as we met and spoke with 38 leaders of the games industry, it became clear that we are an industry that is aware of its reach and power, but unsure what to do with it.
Close to half the world’s population plays games, and it’s the #1 pastime amongst young people. You could therefore argue that all we need to do to fix the climate crisis is to switch to renewable energy and wait for everyone to satisfy their emotional needs in the digital realm. The reality however is that with the enormous reach of our industry comes an enormous responsibility to raise awareness and to inspire climate action.
It’s also clear that this is the time for our industry to be on the right side of history when it comes to climate change. And even if you don’t care about what kind of a planet we leave for the future generations, more and more of your customers do and they will vote with their wallets. Despite recent layoffs and talk of generative AI models replacing everyone working in a creative industry, the reality is that most growing game companies are constantly struggling to attract enough great talent. And as with consumers, creatives are equally paying much more attention to the climate credentials of prospective employers.
We can achieve a lot just by donating some of the profits we generate to fighting climate change, but there are many other ways we can play a key role in building a better future for our planet.
Most of the games industry’s environmental footprint comes from people playing the games we create, but we also create a lot of physical goods that have a concrete negative impact on the environment. We also travel a lot for business, and unfortunately most of that is still by plane. And of course, the servers and platforms that our games run on are a massive source of emissions that someone will have to deal with.
Responsibility starts at home - or in this case, the office - and forward-looking companies are already tracking, reporting, reducing and offsetting their emissions, and making reducing the environmental impact of their operations a priority.
One area where the games industry is clearly taking the lead is the protection and restoration of natural environments. Nature-based solutions with reliable partners are the only realistic way of drawing meaningful amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and slowing down global warming, and they also help address the biodiversity crisis that is worsening hand in hand with climate change.
In the end, the only lasting way to tackle climate change is through social change, and this is where the games industry can have the biggest impact thanks to its massive reach and level of engagement.
The games industry has seen decades and decades of essentially nonstop growth, and many of us missed the news that the nerds won. Many of our interviewees repeated the phrase ‘with great power comes great responsibility’, but we are still coming to terms with the extent of that power and the responsibility that comes with it.
On this journey, we saw that the games industry is well on its way to being a major force in the fight against climate change. But it’s up to the leaders of the industry to use the platform they have to push for social and political change.
Games are the leading medium of the 21st century - and it’s time to lead.
Thanks to everyone who took part in this video:
Jiri Kupiainen (https://matchmade.tv/)
Maria Wagner (https://gamesforest.club/)
Chris James (https://www.steelmedia.co.uk/)
Matej Lancaric (@2.5gamers )
Jakub Remiar (@2.5gamers )
Felix Braberg (@2.5gamers )
Hilmar Veigar Petursson (https://ccpgames.com/)
Liz Thieme (https://www.rebirthstudios.co/)
Rob Small (https://www.miniclip.com/)
Brian Meidell (https://frvr.com/)
Daniel Hasselberg (https://www.maginteractive.com/)
Mathias Gredal Nørvig (https://sybogames.com/)
Philip Hickey (https://sybogames.com/)
Anouar Benattia (https://www.quiet.fun/)
Éric Tournié (https://tactilegames.com/)
Maor Sadra (https://incrmntal.com/)
Jani Kahrama (https://pelimetsa.fi/?lang=en & http://secretexit.com/)
Johan Sjöberg (https://pelimetsa.fi/?lang=en & http://secretexit.com/)
Hendrik Lesser (https://rcp.family/)
Lucia Šicková (https://portal.pixelfederation.com/)
María Sayans (https://ustwogames.co.uk/)
Kate Edwards (https://www.linkedin.com/in/geogrify/)
Riad Djemili (https://maschinen-mensch.com/)
Shanti Bergel (https://www.transcend.fund/)
Mikael Haveri (https://housemarque.com/)