Football Manager Relegates Plastic Packaging to History, Challenges Others to Follow Suit

By Rich Stanton on at

Sports Interactive, longtime developers of the Football Manager series, today announced that it's been feeling a bit guilty about all those useless plastic boxes that the series has produced over its lifespan. So it's taking action: the next game in the series, Football Manager 2020, will be sold at retail in completely recycled packaging: everything from the box to the manual to the shrink wrap is made from recycled materials, and "almost all" of that is recyclable itself (the exception being the disc).

In the below video Miles Jacobson talks with Arsenal's Héctor Bellerín about the whys and hows of the change.

There's also a blog post on the Sports Interactive website where Jacobson outlines how the company approached this and crucially what materials it's used. This latter point matters because it means anyone who wants to follows SI's lead in this area doesn't need to make the investment it did in researching a suitable replacement. Which allows Jacobson and SI to throw down the gauntlet: we did it, here's how to do it, and you should be doing it too.

[W]e’re not interested in being the only people doing this. 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?

“Ah, but is it more expensive?” you ask. Well, the simple answer is yes. Each package costs about 20c more, but that extra cost will be partly offset by cheaper distribution costs and partly offset by cheaper destruction costs. And, as footballer Héctor Bellerín points out in the video we’ve just released, “if there's no Earth, there's no money to spend”.

We’ve spent a lot of time working on this with our colleagues at SEGA. But rather than keeping this to ourselves, forcing everyone else to re-do the hard work already done, instead we’ve decided to reveal the materials that we’ve used to help all entertainment companies switch easier.

Well, the lad's played a blinder. Who knows how many millions of plastic cases the gaming industry has produced across its history, and yes gaming retail is shrinking in importance, but the focus should be less on what it's done than on what it can do better right now. Sports Interactive is not only getting its own house in order in this regard, but the gesture of sharing its findings with anyone interested has to be applauded. This should become industry best practice.