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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeFuture techMidgard's mission to decarbonise the game industry "We don't really have a...

Midgard’s mission to decarbonise the game industry “We don’t really have a choice”

Top image: Songs of Silence by Chimera Entertainment, one of the studios that work with Midgard

In a world increasingly conscious of its environmental footprint, industries of all kinds are seeking ways to reduce their impact on the planet. The game industry, with its massive global reach, is no exception. Enter Jérôme Ibañez, founder of Midgard, a carbon measurement and reporting software tailored specifically for the game industry. 

“I grew up in a neighborhood in the Philippines where we experience waist-deep floods literally every year”, says Ibañez, revealing the personal motivation behind Midgard’s inception. In between jobs, when he was playing video games, he wondered: ‘What is the impact of gaming on the climate?’ Thus began the journey of Midgard, a venture aimed at addressing a critical gap in the gaming industry’s sustainability efforts.

Rating system

Midgard’s mission extends far beyond mere carbon accounting. Ibañez explains, “We’ve been so focused on putting the blame on oil companies and other conglomerates that we forget that the gaming community also has collective power.” With 3.1 billion active gamers worldwide, Midgard seeks to harness this power to drive climate action. By empowering both developers and players to make environmentally conscious choices, Midgard aims to catalyse change within the gaming ecosystem.

Spilled! – Lente

Central to Midgard’s approach is its data collection and analysis process. “We collect data from the game developer’s activities during the game development cycle”, explains Ibañez. This data is then meticulously modeled to estimate emissions, enabling developers to gain insights into their environmental impact. However, Midgard goes beyond mere emissions quantification. Introducing a rating system ranging from A to E (like is found on electrical appliances), Midgard evaluates games based on factors such as data integrity, reduction efforts, and future pledges.

Business model

“We encourage the devs to put the ratings of their games on game packages and trailers and also incorporate it in their marketing.” By providing transparency regarding a game’s sustainability efforts, Midgard empowers players to make informed choices and encourage developers to prioritise environmental consciousness.

The Tale of Bistun – Black Cube Games

Midgard’s business model reflects its commitment to accessibility and scalability. “Right now, we charge devs anywhere from €1000 to €5000 depending on the size of the team and the scope of the game”, Ibañez explains. Looking ahead, Midgard envisions a broader marketplace encompassing both developers and players, facilitating the exchange of certified sustainable games and offering carbon offset options.

Lucrative market

For game studios, participation in Midgard’s initiative offers tangible benefits beyond environmental leadership. “Knowing your emissions means that you identify emissions sources,” Ibañez highlights. By optimising processes and reducing costs, developers stand to gain significant competitive advantages. Moreover, with impending regulatory requirements in the EU, Midgard’s services position studios to navigate future compliances. “Not many studios know this, but in two years even small and medium enterprises (SME) are going to be required to disclose their emissions.” 

Atomic Owl – Monster Theater

“But there’s nothing to be made sustainable if the company doesn’t survive”, says Ibañez. By embracing carbon accountability, game developers can tap into a potentially lucrative hidden market of climate-conscious gamers, predominantly millennials and gen Z. This demographic represents a substantial portion of the sustainable alternatives market that prioritises sustainability in their purchasing decisions.

Zero emissions

As for Midgard’s vision for the future, Ibañez is ambitious. “In ten years, we want every single game being released to know its carbon emissions during development,” he declares. Beyond emissions quantification, Midgard aspires to facilitate a paradigm shift whereby gamers worldwide emit zero emissions during gameplay. It’s a serious goal, but as Midgard’s founder states, “we don’t really have any other choice.”

For more information about Midgard’s mission check the website.

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