Football Manager 2020 developer Sports Interactive is stepping away from the industry standard for the game’s retail packaging, and imploring other game makers to follow in its footsteps.
As part of that goal, studio director Miles Jacobson has shared an open letter diving into the reasoning for switching to environmentally-friendly packaging, and sharing information on what they’re using to help other devs do the same.
For the standard edition of the upcoming game, Sports Interactive has swapped out the usual plastic case for a reinforced gatefold cardboard sleeve, made entirely from recycled materials. Any printing on the packaging or manual is done with vegetable and water-based ink, the manual itself is made with recycled paper, and the shrink wrap used can be recycled in some places as well.
On top of being almost entirely recyclable, Sports Interactive says that lighter packaging means, in theory, less fuel is burned to ship physical copies of games and, when necessary, both easier and cheaper to destroy than the packaging for traditionally plastic-bound games as they'll be shipped off to a recycling facility rather than a landfill.
“But we’re not interested in being the only people doing this,” writes Jacobson. “So I’m throwing down the gauntlet here to ALL entertainment companies who use plastic for their Blu Ray, DVD and CD packaging. Imagine how much plastic we could save, how much landfill we could avoid and how much less plastic would make it into the oceans if we were all do this?”
“’Ah, but is it more expensive?’ you ask. Well, the simple answer is yes. Each package costs about 20c more, but that extra cost will be partly offset by cheaper distribution costs and partly offset by cheaper destruction costs," he writes. "And, as footballer Héctor Bellerín points out in the video we’ve just released, ‘if there's no Earth, there's no money to spend’.”