At Gamescom this week Microsoft Xbox won the new Playing for the Planet Green Studio of the Year award. The official Xbox news post about it had this quote:
Playing for the Planet credited this win to the efforts of Xbox to drive action beyond the borders of our own business and work closely with game developers and players to lower the energy emissions of the industry as a whole.
With everything that we've talked about MS achieving this year, I think it's pretty well deserved – congrats.
Take-Two released their annual impact report
Get the details right here [PDF] and the data is now locked in to the rapidly filling-out 2023 Net Zero snapshot. More on our overview of game industry progress towards net zero goals very soon.
Sadly, there's still no net zero date or even a commitment to make one. However, T2 have released a TCFD materiality analysis to go with it that is… actually one of the best I’ve seen?
That's basically a list of all my top reasons for games companies to decarbonise and take swift climate action – is someone at Take-Two stealing my notes? They've also got a table with the climate opportunities – which shouldn't be overlooked either.
Lower exposure to high fossil fuel prices is something many advocates have been talking about for years. Maybe the 2022 gas crisis has finally gotten through to people. In any case, someone at T2 has done their homework, and clearly understands the scale of what we’re up against. How long till we see it translate it into action though?
Epic introduces a quantified graphics 'budget' to game
Friend of GTG Arnaud Fayolle re-posted a mockup of what this sort of clear graphics performance metric could be used for when combined with similar energy consumption figures and local emissions factors:
Netflix launching game streaming might be what convinces me it has a future
As I said a few weeks ago, I remain unconvinced that cloud gaming has a huge part in the future of gaming, but Netflix has posted an update about a rollout of a beta version which allows some of its games to be played right there in the Netflix app. An already existing huge subscriber base that can be nudged into playing a game instead of flicking through the recommended movies you know you'll never actually watch? That might work.
Twitch's annual hours-watched is still growing
Whats the footprint of all those viewers though? Any ideas? Twitch does a lot of safety reporting (and rightly so) but nothing ESG related, and the only mention of Twitch in the Amazon sustainability report is about a new human rights report. Perhaps it's too hard to separate out from the rest of the AWS infrastructure? Or perhaps they haven't tried.
And in the process of looking for more details, I found this recently published article that examines the combination of a games's presence on Twitch, and high ESG disclosure ratings, on the stock price of the company.
The findings seem to suggest that:
...certain types of investors prioritize Twitch statistics and the company's level of sustainability over more accounting-based information, such as the P/E ratio, in making their investment decisions. In addition, within the information on sustainability, the most relevant for investors are environmental and social; that is, regarding emissions, innovation (E), and workers and human rights (S). This means that if any gaming companies have a scandal about these two categories, investors will surely take it into account, and there will be a decrease in the stock return.
By the way, I post a lot of this stuff on my Masodon account if, like me, you have all but abandoned the bird website. Masto is really good for discovery and has a very active culture of the use of hastags. It reminds me a lot of early twitter, which felt like lots of little conversations were going on everywherem before pile-ons and super viral RTs collapsed everything into a discussion of the main character of the day. Would be great to see you if you're on there.
Nature Climate Change article about the lack of transparency in the SBTi org/process
Some important critiques here of the relatively low transparency with which the SBTi process operates, quite in conflict with the open way that the scientific method itself operates. A clash of cultures – corporate/political and scientific. Worth sitting with this one.
Meanwhile, the SBTI removed Amazon from its list of SBTi approved companies
So it's not like the org is completely captured by large corporate interests, exactly – there are at least process that can kick people out of the tent.
And SBTi also released its annual impact report
Look at the sheer momentum building for SBTi approval though – no wonder it's getting more attention and scrutiny.
The BBC have also been looking at the power of small tweaks at massive scale
Like Microsoft's low-energy menus, the BBC has been exploring low energy screen patterns for TVs that spend long times switched on to radio and channels with static imagery. Really interesting findings, especially with OLEDS. I am a total OLED convert, so this is nice.
“Our tests quickly validated the wider luminance vs energy hypothesis. All the screens saved some energy with darker images. However, we were surprised by just how reactive the FALD and OLED screens were, with even a few luminance changes in relatively small parts of the image.”
After the jump – awesomely powerful new historical electricity CO2 intensity data, the toxic legacy of US telecommunications infrastructure, ocean based CO2 removals, more sweet sweet charts (of course), and discussion of the new European Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which target industrial steel and the like, but with the option to expand to more products after 2026...
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