In-game climate positive action boosts revenue and engagement

A new report by PlanetPlay shows that environmental content can benefit game makers and the planet

In-game climate positive action boosts revenue and engagement

Studios that implement in-game climate positive action see increases in revenue, sales, and engagement, according to new research by PlanetPlay, a climate conscious marketplace which partners with game makers to “inspire, educate and mobilise players in support of the climate and ancillary causes.”

The Play With Impact white paper examines the relationship between studio-led in-game climate initiatives and commercial outcomes, with research based on studios including SYBO, Flick Games, and ustwo.

“We know that many players are interested in green issues, but the evidence within this
paper clearly indicates that this passion for sustainability and the environment can also have
a positive impact on in-game expenditure,” said PlanetPlay CEO Rhea Loucas.

Their report found that 80% of 400 thousand gamers surveyed believe that climate change is already influencing their lives, and 81% would like to see environmentally-themed content in-game. Further, 61% would pay for environmental content which adds to their experience.

The report examines how different companies implementing environmental content have benefitted, and how they have managed to make notable changes to the environment. Flick Solitaire, for example, saw a 350% increase in in-app purchase revenue and 250% increase in in-app purchases during its partnership with PlanetPlay, while ustwo saw a 600% increase in social content likes while reducing carbon emissions by 17 tons in just two weeks. As such, it’s clear that implementing environmental content can benefit companies directly while making a positive impact on the world.

The power of play

"For any mobile game, growing long term value in fair and player friendly ways is always a massive challenge,” said Flick Games founder and CEO Ian Masters. “The huge increases in IAP conversion from integrating PlanetPlay have been nothing less than startling. It is all the more gratifying knowing that this was achieved through our players' passion in supporting climate causes."

The report also highlights the success of SYBO’s second Play2Plant event for its game Subway Surfers, which launched as a part of the Green Game Jam in 2022, and saw the company planting a tree for each player who participated. This event saw impressions increase six-fold, with downloads increasing 28% compared to the previous year’s event.

At Pocket Gamer Connects London, ustwo game director Jennifer Estaris discussed the potential for game makers to make a positive impact on the world, and inspire action from players. We listed ustwo as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.


Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.