Digital vs Physical Game Replicas: Which is More Harmful to the Environment?


One of the most sought-after sectors of today is the game industry. This sector is damaging the environment as much as any other sector today, but the digital game sales that have become widespread recently have begun to prevent this loss. A new study reveals the difference between the amount of carbon emissions caused by digital and physical gaming replicas.

In this period, when the consequences of global warming and climate change manifest themselves, it is vital to determine the damage caused by various sectors to the environment. Almost every sector such as entertainment, food and transportation causes a considerable amount of carbon emissions. The game sector is among the sectors that need to be taken to reduce carbon emissions.

As in every sector, there are simple steps to be taken in the gaming industry to reduce this emissions. A benchmark study called ‘Console Carbon Footprint’, which has recently published, has been comparing carbon emissions caused by physical and digital game sales in recent years, encouraging companies in the gaming industry to make simple changes.

There is as much difference between mountains and digital copies as damage:
According to the comparison study, the materials used to produce physical game copies cause 23 times more carbon dioxide emissions than games sold in digital forms. Aluminum carbonate used in CD making, polyethylene and polypropylene compounds used in CD box making and coated paper used in making the paper on which the cover image is printed; causes a total of 0.39 kilograms of carbon dioxide emission per copy of a game. On the other hand, downloading digital copies consumes 60 W of electrical energy per copy and causes 0.17 kilograms of carbon dioxide emission.

The most enemy game FIFA 19:
According to the information obtained in the research, the game that caused the most carbon release is followed by FIFA 19th Game with 912,281 kilograms of carbon dioxide emission, Red Dead Redemption 2 with 848,733 kilograms, Call of Duty with 566,489 kilograms, and Marvel’s Spider Man with 326,808 kilograms.

The sale of physical games also causes an increase in plastic waste. According to the data, if players who had FIFA 19 tossed the game and received FIFA 20, 128.479 kilograms of plastic waste would have been produced.

Consoles according to carbon emissions:
If we compare the consoles, PS3 is on the list as the most environmentally foe console in the game world, with 0.053 kilograms of carbon emission in 1 hour. PS4 is the most environmentally friendly console with 0.033 kilograms per hour, but if we add the hand consoles to the list, Nintendo consoles are at the top of the list of environmental friendliness with an overall emission of 0.008 kilograms of carbon per hour.

Game companies promised to be more environmentally friendly:
A commission of companies such as Sony, Google Stadia, Microsoft, Rovio, Supercell, Ubisoft, Sybo and WildWorks; It came together last year to reduce carbon emissions to 30 tons by 2030. The companies promised to pursue more environmentally friendly ways while continuing their production in the gaming industry.

If you want to minimize damage to the environment while playing games, you can start by simply choosing digital copies. Thus, you both personally cause less damage and send the message to companies to produce more digital copies.


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