Football Manager 2020 ditches plastic with eco-friendly recyclable packaging

Football Manager 2020
(Image credit: Sports Interactive)

Footballer Manager 2020 will be sold in eco-friendly packaging in a bid to address the issue of climate change within the industry and cut down on the amount of plastic used. The news was announced in an open letter from Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson, who explained that the latest Football Manager will be replacing the plastic boxes "typically used across the industry" with reinforced 100% recycled gatefold cardboard sleeves made out of 100% recycled fibres. The printing on the packaging is also made out of eco-friendly vegetable and water-based ink with a recycled paper manual inside. 

By not using the standard plastic boxes games are usually shipped out in, Jacobson estimates that making this change will save around 20 tonnes of plastic this year. The boxes, as Jacobson explains, uses "55g of plastic per box that is simply not needed." In a video discussion about climate change with Arsenal footballer Hector Bellerin, Jacobson addressed how the industry could make efforts to change the amount of plastic used and lessen the impact it has on the environment. 

"We've been a part of that problem [surrounding climate change]," Jacobson said. "The entertainment industry - not just Sports Interactive - but the film's industry, the game's industry, and the music industry, we're a part of that problem because of the amount of plastic that we use in our packaging." 

The studio director then took out a copy of the previous Football Manager 2019 release - which didn't use recyclable packaging and would therefore likely end up in landfill - as an example of how the studio saw the need to change its approach to the packaging of future releases. In the open letter Jacobson wrote about the studio's hope that this change will be used as an example to encourage all entertainment companies who use plastic to make the switch. 

"But we're not interested in being the only people doing this," Jacobson wrote. "So I'm throwing down the gauntlet here to ALL entertainment companies who use plastic for their Blu Ray, DVD and CD packaging. Imagine how much plastic we could save, how much landfill we could avoid and how much less plastic would make into the oceans if we were all doing this?" 

It's a fantastic move from Sports Interactive that will hopefully show the entertainment industry how much of a positive impact it could have on the environment if it were to follow suit and shift away from using plastic packaging. Football Manager 2020 is set to release on Nintendo Switch and PC  sometime in November.

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Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.