One of the few PC series even sold in boxes nowadays, Football Manager will switch from ye olde plastic DVD case to "eco-friendly" packaging with this year's game. They've hit upon a revolutionary new material for PC game packaging: cardboard. Unlike the horse-sized PC game boxes of the 90s, this is a wee gatefold affair made from recycled cardboard and vegetable inks and things. Sports Interactive bossman Miles Jacobson says this is "the most environmentally friendly packaging we've been able to put together."
"We are replacing the plastic box that is typically used across the industry with a reinforced, 100% recycled gatefold cardboard sleeve, made with 100% recycled fibres," Jacobson explained in a blog post today. "We've changed the printing on the packaging to vegetable and water-based ink with a recycled paper manual inside and have managed to source recyclable shrink wrap to encase the packaging and keep it secure on its travels."
Jacobson says everything except the shrinkwrap and DVD itself can be hoyed into standard recycling bins, and even those can be recycled at specialist facilities if you make an extra effort. I was surprised to learn just now that while DVD cases can be recycled, they're often not accepted in recycling bins. With the old boxes weighing in at 55 grams of plastic, the predicted sales figures for Football Manager 2020 would lead to "a saving of around 20 tonnes of plastic this year."
That may be minuscule on the scale of our environmental problems but it's still 20 tonnes of plastic (20,000kg or 22 US tons). They hope more games will follow their lead too, and helpfully detailed which companies and products their packaging uses.
Or just buy it on Steam, seeing as you're getting a Steam copy in the box anyway.
Jacobson said, "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?"
Even if replacing one game box per year isn't much even on a personal scale, let alone global, this seems to be a positive change. So that's good. Maybe it'll even provide you brief respite from feeling so wholly overwhelmed and crushed and oh god oh god.
Here's Jacobson gabbing with Arsenal player Hector Bellerin about climate change and the new packaging: