Football Manager developer Sports Interactive isn't happy with the size of its carbon footprint and has announced that it will be rectifying that by doing away with plastic cases for boxed games, starting with Football Manager 2020.
While physical editions are increasingly rare on PC, Sports Interactive has continued to produce them. Rather than getting rid of boxed games entirely, it's opted to replace the plastic cases with cardboard ones. Again.
This isn't a return to the massive boxes that we used to buy before the switch to DVD cases, however. They're sleeves made from 100 percent recycled fibres, while all the printing on the sleeve has been changed to vegetable and water-based inks. It's also almost entirely recyclable, though you won't be able to toss the disc or shrink wrap in a regular recycling bin.
Sports Interactive also believes that the lighter packaging will also mean less fuel will be required to transport the games, though obviously it would be much better for the environment if they didn't have to distribute any physical games at all.
Studio director Miles Jacobson called on other companies to follow suit.
"[W]e’re not interested in being the only people doing this," he wrote in an open letter. "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?"
It's an excellent step, though Sports Interactive is surrounded by developers and publishers who have already gone further, albeit not necessarily for environmental reasons, by getting rid of boxes entirely. That's just on PC, though, while console games still produce mountains of plastic and should definitely follow Sports Interactive's example.