Sega Europe Opts For The Planet Over Profits

Sega Europe is deserting plastic packaging for its physical games after it publicized the introduction of recycled cardboard casings for all its PC products. The news comes only months after Sega subsidiary Sports Interactive disclosed it would be using specifically designed recyclable cardboard boxes for Football Manager 2020.

At the time, studio director Miles Jacobson said that he expected the wider industry would soon go along.

Now, three months later, Sega Europe has extended upon the work done by Sports Interactive to provide recyclable packaging across its whole PC portfolio, beginning with Total War: Rome II – Enemy at the Games Edition, which is expected to release next week.

To limit pollution and waste, Sega Europe is pledging to use 100 percent recycled and 100 percent recyclable packing for its PC games. The company assures that the manuals and boxes and will have the most elegant look and feel, so collectors can still show their games with pride. The packaging materials are printed with water- and vegetable-based inks to cut down more on waste. Even the shrinkwrap is eco-friendly.

Similar to the packaging incorporated by Sports Interactive for Football Manager 2020, the new casings are more expensive to produce but are produced from 100% recycled and recyclable ingredients. This increase is partially balanced by savings in shipping charges, thanks to the cut down weight overall. Sega Europe cited Jacobson’s initial statement on the extra cost, saying it’s “a price worth paying to help save the planet’s future.”

“This initiative emphasizes Sega Europe’s commitment to decreasing its plastic waste and its continuing efforts to carry out environmentally friendly business practices,” said Sega Europe COO and president Gary Dale. It was estimated that the choice to go green with Football Manager 2020 would avoid up to 20 tonnes of plastic waste. Sega was unable to provide statistics on how much waste this portfolio-wide move could avoid but proposed it would be exponential.

football manager recyclable
The new game Football Manager packaging by SEGA is made from recycled material and is entirely recyclable itself

Dale continued: “We’d like to repeat Miles [Jacobson’s] plea from September 2019 to the entertainment industries to explore similar packaging solutions, across games, movies, and music so we can jointly observe a drastic decrease in the production of plastic packaging and its related waste and pollution, in the coming years.”

The new packing will be used for all Sega Europe PC titles, and will be distributed worldwide; this includes games from Two Point, Relic, Sports Interactive, Amplitude Studios, and Creative Assembly. Sega America PC titles are digital-only.

Notably missing from the announcement, though, was any indication of console titles from Sega. In a statement, a Sega Europe representative explained that the company must follow first-party guidelines, and is presently restricted from making its own recyclable packing for games released on Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo.