Home / News / Games Go Green: Major studios join PlanetPlay’s Make Green Tuesday Moves initiat | Pocket Gamer.biz

Games Go Green: Major studios join PlanetPlay’s Make Green Tuesday Moves initiat | Pocket Gamer.biz

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Games Go Green: Major studios join PlanetPlay’s Make Green Tuesday Moves initiat | Pocket Gamer.biz

Some of the world’s leading games developers and publishers are marking Earth Day 2024 by joining non-profit organisation (NPO) PlanetPlay’s groundbreaking new Make Green Tuesday Moves(MGTM) initiative, which enables both studios and players to make a real-world impact in the fight against the growing threat of climate change. 

Starting on Tuesday June 4th 2024, and on the first Tuesday of every month thereafter, studios participating in MGTM will launch an exclusive ‘green’ item (or bundle), which can comprise new and/or upcycled DLC goods such as characters, costumes and objects within their game(s).

Proceeds from the sale of the items, which as we’ll see have been demonstrated to boost player engagement and revenue for studios, will be invested into fully-certified sustainability projects by PlanetPlay.

The first month will include MGTM IAPs in mobile titles such as Subway Surfers (Sybo), Fishing Clash (Ten Square Games) and Avakin Life (Lockwood), with many more to come.

All items will be exclusive to the MGTM movement and will remain live until the next monthly activation.

#PassiveActivism x celebrity amplification

Not-for-profit PlanetPlay bases its unique approach to environmental support on harnessing what it calls the #PassiveActivism of players, enabling them to increase awareness and raise money for sustainability causes, without changing their playing behaviour and supporting the games they love.

In addition, throughout the year a number of the MGTM activations will be supported by a ‘Star of the Month’ from the world of music or entertainment, backed by a huge social media campaign, helping to inspire the more than 300 million gamers around the world to ‘Make Green Tuesday Moves’.

PlanetPlay is actively looking for more MGTM partners – developers and publishers who wish to support the Movement and get their titles fighting for the planet’s future, while earning more revenue in the process.

All studios need to do in order to participate in MGTM is integrate PlanetPlay’s API and/or promo codes to release an item or items in-game or through the PlanetPlay store, as well as supporting the campaign through their own comms channels.

Impact On Studio Metrics

What’s interesting is that PlanetPlay’s in-game green activations have already generated proven uplift for studio partners across multiple commercial and engagement metrics.

A recent collaboration with Lockwood Publishing saw green content from GRAMMY-nominated recording artist Fat Joe feature as part of its Avakin Life virtual world, driving a six percent increase in downloads on the Google Play store over the launch period, plus a 104.8 percent uplift in new user acquisition. That was alongside a 58.7 percent increase in re-activated players.

The game also experienced a huge 1,600 percent uplift in sales for one particular in-game item, while a further 458 percent increase in sales was recorded across 30 other items.

 In addition, a collaboration with Ten Square Games in its popular Fishing Clash title created an engaging in-game event, rallying 50,000 users and raising money for the WAI Wanaka water conservation project in New Zealand.

Playing For Good

Pocketgamer.biz sat down with some of the PlanetPlay team – founder and CEO Rhea Loucas, Global Head of Business Development Felix Bradshaw, and Head of Marketing Karl Nielson, to find out more about the company and the thinking behind the MGTM initiative.

Games Go Green: Major studios join PlanetPlay’s Make Green Tuesday Moves initiat | Pocket Gamer.biz

PG.biz: Hi Rhea, many thanks for joining us. Tell us more about the thinking behind the Make Green Tuesday Moves campaign please.

Rhea Loucas: MGTM is literally an idea that came out of PocketGamer Connects (PGC) in January, so we’ve worked quite fast to make this happen.

It’s significant that so many game studios are already signed up to be part of MGTM – We have quite a big pipeline of activations set up, and we don’t officially kick things off until June 4th.

In essence, MGTM is about making green activations sustainable and recurring – ensuring they’re available for studios and players regularly, rather than as one-off projects.

Last year we rolled out multiple campaigns with Ten Square Games (Fishing Clash, Hunting Clash), Lockwood (Avakin Life) and Sybo (Subway Surfers), all as extremely successful one-time activations.

Afterwards, both players and studios ended up asking the same question: “Okay, that was fantastic, but what’s next?”.

Why don’t we leverage games to really change an issue like climate change that’s so big people feel helpless about it – actually empower everyone to take part in saving the planet?

Rhea Loucas

Players think: “This is really fun, I want to get more involved,” while studios think: “This is actually quite an innovative way to engage our players, sell more and do something good for the planet at the same time.”

And because of the uplift that our partner studios experienced, there was a strong desire to make the green activations perpetual, rather than time-limited.

So we decided to go monthly and call it Make Green Tuesday Moves (PlanetPlay’s strapline is Make Green Moves – Ed), beginning on the first Tuesday of each month.

PG.biz: Felix, are you looking for more developers and more games to join the movement? How should interested studios get in touch?

Felix Bradshaw: Of course, we’re always looking for more partners. We can always do more. The thing that benefits the most from all of this is the planet. And the more games we have as part of MGTM, the more studios that participate, the more successful those activations will be. And that’s where we want to be.

First and foremost, MGTM is really flexible for studios. The main focus is on creating in-game activations, putting out, for example, green DLC bundles with new goodies every month. At that point MGTM becomes a really nice, challenging, sustainable fund towards green projects.

In addition, studios can leverage the PlanetPlay web store, where each month we’re going to launch different items, which can be physical as well as digital. The third way to participate in MGTM is for PC and console games to either bundle content or work with us to create social events to engage with players.

But absolutely the most important thing is that every month MGTM is going to be the games industry, celebrities and players coming together to deliver something fun that supports the planet at the same time. The more game studios that get involved, the more amplification MGTM will get, which means more players will see and buy green content.

And to make it even more fun, we’re also going to engage with new artists, talent and celebrities every quarter. Games studios will be able to leverage the artist’s likeness or IP to make cool things happen in-game as part of the activation.

Studios or publishers that want to be part of MGTM can contact me at [email protected], or check out the Make Green Tuesday Moves website.

Games Go Green: Major studios join PlanetPlay’s Make Green Tuesday Moves initiat | Pocket Gamer.biz

Pocketgamer.biz: Can you tell us a little more about the journey that led you to create PlanetPlay and where the company is going?

Rhea Loucas: I founded PlanetPlay back at the end of 2021 – the end of COVID. Everyone was stuck at home or working remotely. It was also around the same time that COP26 took place in Glasgow.

…every month MGTM is going to be the games industry, celebrities and players coming together to deliver something fun that supports the planet…

Felix Bradshaw

I started to develop the idea of leveraging games’ power to do something positive for our planet because our industry has such a strong platform – and I love playing games. So I asked the question: “Why don’t we leverage games to really change an issue like climate change that’s so big people feel helpless about it – actually empower everyone to take part in saving the planet?”.

From that point, we launched PlanetPlay at the end of 2022 and the team has been growing since then. We have worked with many amazing studios, like SYBO and Lockwood, and it’s very heartwarming to see the industry endorse our concept.

Importantly, PlanetPlay is a not for profit organisation. We simply want to create a self-sustaining way of supporting amazing green projects that also create commercial upside for studios.

We have a passionate team of 20 people that is truly global, based in the UK, the US, Brazil and Portugal, while I myself am actually in Switzerland.

Pocketgamer.biz: Can you tell us a little more about the sustainability projects PlanetPlay supports?

Rhea Loucas: Our key focus is on making sure that every penny PlanetPlay earns is ploughed into verified projects that can effectively help green causes.

We have our flagship Hongera project in Kenya and work very closely with the local team there developing a thermally-efficient cook stove for families. We also work with a wide-range of other amazing non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in other regions and on other projects. For example, last year when we worked with Fishing Clash, we channelled funds towards a New Zealand charity, WAI Wanaka, that preserved the local waterways.

We see this as a huge ‘pool’ of green projects that we want to help and then from that pool we focus upon generating the quantifiable, measurable outcomes we want, whether that’s how much carbon we have reduced or how many trees we have planted.

PG.biz: Karl, you’re the team member responsible for bringing many of the big-name celebrities on board, like Fat Joe and J Balvin, and giving developers the chance to incorporate them into their green DLC items. How did you get involved with PlanetPlay?

Karl Nielson: I’ve been working with the team at PlanetPlay for a year and a half now, and initially came on board as the music consultant. I used to manage an artist called Goldie, and still manage artists today like William Orbit. I’ve also got a strong background in marketing at places like British Airways and Dr Martens.

There’s already a lot of green activity in the music industry, particularly when it comes to carbon offset and recycling as part of the live side of things. So I’m trying to bring that know-how to games and, likewise, into the games events.

I think there’s a lot we can do – we are just scratching at the surface. We’re not asking gamers to do anything apart from just play the games they already love.

Karl Nielson

And by the very virtue of that they’re making ‘green moves’ with us and our partner studios, actually doing something good for the planet. Harnessing “passive activism”, as we call it.

PG.biz: Felix, as the Global Head of Business Development for PlanetPlay you’ve been leading the engagement with the games sector. How did you make the move to join the team here?

Felix Bradshaw: I’ve been in the games industry for quite some time. I started off working at Codemasters back in around 2004. Then I’ve Worked with Zynga, Unity, Natural Motion and various other places. I first met Rhea at Gamescom in 2023. Before that point I hadn’t thought about green issues with regard to games, I certainly hadn’t thought about how games could contribute to sustainability projects.

I came away from Gamescom filled with the notion that this is the place I want to be, this is where I want to go. Most of my professional career I’ve been in games. So to actually use that knowledge and commercial nous within a green environment, for me, is like a dream come true.

MGTM is going to do some amazing things for our partners, their players and the planet.

For more details of how to get your studio involved in the Make Green Tuesday Moves initiative, contact PlanetPlay’s Felix Bradshaw at [email protected], or check out the Make Green Tuesday Moves website.

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