Xbox, PlayStation, Ubisoft, Google and Twitch among game firms making climate change commitments

Xbox, PlayStation, Ubisoft, Google and Twitch among game firms making climate change commitments

A number of top video game companies have announced a new initiative to fight climate change called Playing for the Planet.

Revealed yesterday (Monday, September 23rd) at the UN Climate Summit, the scheme sees top firms taking steps to limit the environmental impact of their businesses. Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, Google, Ubisoft, Sports Interactive, Green Man Gaming, Sybo, Space Ape, Supercell, Wild Works, Creative Mobile, Reliance Games, E-Line Media, Strange Loop, Internet of Elephants, Twitch and Niantic have all signed up to be part of the Playing for the Planet initiative.

PlayStation maker Sony Interactive Entertainment has said it will be revealing plans to use "energy-efficient technology" said to bring down CO2 emissions by 29m tonnes by 2030, as well as introducing a new "low power suspend mobile" for its forthcoming console. Microsoft, meanwhile, says it is expanding on its existing commitment to reducing carbon emissions, looking to bring down CO2 output by its supply chain by 30 per cent by 2030. Furthermore, it wants to try a pilot scheme where 825,000 of its Xbox console will be carbon neutral. The Big M is also engaging its Minecraft community.

Relative games newcomer Google has said that it will be publishing a guide for sustainable game development, in addition to funding research into how "green nudges" - convincing people to act in a positive way towards the environment - can be used in game play.

French publishing giant Ubisoft says it will be creating green themes for its games, in addition to sourcing materials from "eco-friendly factories," while Football Manager maker Sports Interactive - as already announced - will be using recycled plastic packaging for future releases.

You can see the full list of commitments here.

“Climate change is impacting each industry and every sector, and we believe technology can play a critical role in enabling and empowering the response to this challenge,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer said.

“Initiatives like our Minecraft Build a Better World Campaign and CarbonNeutral Xbox pilot provide a great opportunity to tap into Microsoft’s technology sustainability and gaming community to make a difference in this key area of our business.”

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan added: “Today at the UN Climate Summit, I am honoured and feel privileged to join leaders in the gaming industry to make commitments to contribute to the efforts of the UN. At PlayStation, we believe games have the power to ignite social change through educating people, evoking emotions, and inspiring hope. We could not be prouder to be part of the Playing for the Planet Alliance and we look forward to seeing what the industry can achieve together.”

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.