Ubisoft is a French video game company that is headquartered in Montreuil with several development studios across the globe. If you are familiar with video games you may know some of their main franchises such as Assassins Creed, Rayman, FarCry, Just Dance, and Rainbow Six. Whether you really know the gaming industry or not, you should know that gaming is one of the most profitable entertainment industries. Billions of dollars are made every year from this sector. At the time of this article, not too long ago Microsoft made one of the most expensive acquisitions in history in order to buy Activision Blizzard. This is another gaming company that cost them $70 billion. With this much money involved, begs for reviews on companies such as these, to really see what is going on within this ever growing sector. Ubisoft, is one of those big gaming companies that, just like any other, claim to be the best at EVERYTHING.
Ubisoft has 26 studios spread across the country. All of these buildings are primarily used to develop new video games. What comes next is the entire process of how the products get physically packaged and shipped to consumers. Ubisoft has broken the allocations of resources themselves on their own website. First, it should be mentioned that Ubisoft’s carbon footprint in the year 2020 was 141.7 kilotons CO2-equivalent. This number is no joke, but at least the company does not beat around the bush with the number and makes sure to display it on the top page of their website. Now, back to the breakdown of allocations from the company’s contribution of CO2. Ubisoft breaks down its contribution into seven categories such as Buildings, Purchases, Manufacturing & Freight, Data Centers, IT Assets, Commuting & Visitors, and Business Travel. Everything besides Buildings and Purchases are under ten percent. Buildings consist of 16% total contribution while Purchases are a total of 53% contribution towards transportation emissions. I am personally shocked that the entire development process of making the product is so low in contribution. One would think that a tremendous amount of energy would be used to run all of these buildings across the globe and digitally make these games. This lower contribution might have to do with the fact that Ubisoft already claimed to be using 74% renewable energy in 2020. That just leaves us to the physical product itself and why it is seemingly so high. Physical products of a video game usually consist of a plastic shell, a paper manual, the disc itself, and finally a piece of front paper that is used for the artwork. The thing is, Ubisoft and most gaming companies have changed the formula up a little bit and have not included the paper manual for physical copies, so that saves a lot right there. Even though there have been ways to cut down on the resources used for production, distribution is the main problem for consumer products like these.
The entire process of how it is made is sort of split into two ways. One half of the process is digital while the second half is physical. However, these ends are starting to change a little bit since technology is starting to advance and people like for conveniences… it's a weird time for gaming. First, the idea is thought out and brought to a boardroom to get the green light on production for a new game. Then the real work starts with the entire development team using whatever means they need to in order to complete the process of the game. This could vary in using outside physical sources in order to capture something into mocap. However, the majority of the process is done digitally by developers. Ubisoft addresses the point in how much carbon footprint even the employees leave behind throughout the year. I could not find the exact number since the people themselves are not calculated into the resource allocation chart. Yet, Ubisoft's short term goal is to reduce the emissions by 8.8% per employee by 2023. After the game is complete and ready to go, the process is no different than that of selling DVD’s. Get it in a physical copy and ready to ship it out to stores across the globe. There was not any blatant information on the manufacturing of the plastic cases. However, keep in mind that several millions of copies could be sold for one game alone. Although, like I mentioned earlier, today digital sales are doing substantially well and decrease the amount of physical copies sold. This has to do with technology progressing, people wanting an even easier way to purchase video games, and companies such as Ubisoft who push for digital only. There are several reasons why game companies push for digital sales. One, the company does not have to spend nearly as much money in buying the physical ingredients for the product. Two, being that they will not have to share the profit with the physical stores that purchase the games. Finally, this one is hopeful, that these ginormous companies actually care about the entire process that physical products have to go through and cut down on total emissions. Convincingly, I think that Ubisoft does actually care about the environment.
Ubisoft was founded by five brothers of the Guillemot family as a computer game publisher in 1986. Since then, the company has spread across the globe in order to enrich multicultural ideas and speed up game development with its use of having so many studios. Ubisoft loves to constantly remind the player that this game was created by a diverse group of multicultural people. Which is a great thing and should be how things are made, if done right. If it weren't for diverse groups like these, games like Assassin's Creed would have never been made the way it should be. Let me tell you, those games taught me more history than my actual history classes in grade school, story for another time. Also, because the company is so diverse, different ideas and philosophies are shown to the player in order for people to become more exposed to rather just the world of their own. One thing that Ubisoft also promises to be doing is showing the player the importance of the actual environment through its means of world building in the gameplay. What I am assuming this means is that Ubisoft is trying to show just how beautiful the natural world can actually be through you being able to freely explore the world. The only concern I have with this is that there does not seem to be a clear association with the game word and real life. I do not think the player is thinking about the real world around them when they are looking at the graphics and the beauty in a video game. Unless there is some storytelling element that connects with the environment, otherwise there does not seem to be a real impact. However, everyone is different and may impact them. The game company also makes games that have to do with resource management and induces the player to be careful with resources since such things are finite and have consequences. Again, I hope the premise does work for players to pay attention to the real world, but I personally don’t see it like that. Yet overall, I truly do believe that this company is doing more for sustainability and the planet than most other gaming companies. Transparency is key, and actually acting upon promises makes its believability that much more sweet.