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"There's apathy when it comes to sustainability because of outdated views about who gamers are"

At Develop Brighton, Yrs Truly founder MJ Widomska explored why few games businesses care about sustainability – and why they should

Today at Develop Brighton, Yrs Truly founder and managing director MJ Widomska gave a talk on sustainability, explaining that it doesn't just mean being environmentally friendly, and giving tips about how games companies can be more sustainable.

"A definition of sustainability that I really like is essentially ensuring that your needs don't compromise the ability of future generations to meet theirs," she explained, saying that sustainability revolves around three key areas: economic, social, and environmental standpoints.

She also talked about how the games industry has not truly embraced the idea of sustainable businesses yet, and that could come from misconceptions about who our audience is.

"A definition of sustainability that I really like is essentially ensuring that your needs don't compromise the ability of future generations to meet theirs"

"A big thing is, in the games industry, I've seen a little bit of apathy when it comes to sustainability, primarily because people still have a really outdated view of who gamers [are]," Widomska said.

"And when I tell people that gamers are more likely to be vegetarian, that overwhelmingly gamers think that they're being impacted by climate change… people kind of tend to have this view of a gamer being a specific person, they don't think that this is true. But actually, people who play video games are a fairly progressive audience that care about that sort of stuff. In the games industry, it's really easy to kind of alienate your consumer-base by essentially not meeting them where they're at, and not understanding where what they want.

"And again, like 60% of them prefer to buy from sustainable brands and 73% are willing to pay more for sustainable products as well. You know, that's a massive chunk of the population."

This is one of many reasons why games businesses should care about sustainability, Widomska said. Other reasons include improving their recruitment and retention, obtaining long-term consumer trust and, most importantly, avoiding climate disaster. Keep an eye out for our interview with MJ Widomska on this very topic, to be published in the coming weeks.

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Marie Dealessandri avatar

Marie Dealessandri

Deputy Editor

Marie Dealessandri joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016 at B2B magazine MCV. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.