Last year, Sega and developers Sports Interactive switched to a 100 percent recycled and recyclable case for Football Manager 2020, and now all of Sega Europe's PC titles will ditch plastic cases for the same paper design. At present, though, Sega can't make the same switch for its console releases.
The next title to ship in the new eco-friendly packaging will be Total War: Rome 2's "Enemy at the Gates" edition. As with the cases used for Football Manager 2020, the printing process for the packaging will use water and vegetable based inks, the paper used in the cardboard will be 100 percent recycled, and Sega will provide online guidance for how to recycle game discs and the fully recyclable plastic wrap used to seal the cases.
In a statement to our sister site GamesIndustry.biz, a representative for Sega Europe confirmed that first-party guidelines from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo restrict the kinds of packaging that can be used for console releases, so the new packaging will only be used for Sega Europe's PC releases for the time being.
When Sports Interactive's studio director Miles Jacobson unveiled the new packaging for Football Manager 2020 last year, he disclosed that the paper design costs "about 30 percent more" than standard plastic cases. A press release from Sega Europe confirms that these increased costs are partially offset by lower distribution costs thanks to the reduced weight of the paper packaging. For Football Manager 2020 alone, Jacobson and Sports Interactive estimated that switching the packaging will save up to 20 metric tons of plastic.
The new packaging was one among many sustainability commitments spotlighted by Playing For The Planet, an alliance of game developers and hardware manufacturers that convened for the United Nations' 2019 Climate Action Summit—notably, Microsoft promised a pilot carbon neutral certification program for Xbox consoles, and Sony revealed details on the PlayStation 5's more energy efficient suspend mode.