Oct 25, 2021 - Technology

Gaming CEO calls on industry to help fight climate change

Screenshot of "Catalyst Black"

"Catalyst Black." Screenshot: Super Evil Megacorp

Gaming CEO Kristian Segerstrale is calling on leaders in his industry to take action on climate change, after completing a $1.4 million fundraising campaign this summer.

Why it matters: Gaming's pandemic-fueled boom creates an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to do some good.

  • “If you're doing well when the world isn't doing well, it's on you to help out,” Segerstrale said in an interview with Axios.

Between the lines: In May, Segerstrale pledged to donate $250,000 of his own money and set up a matching plan as he reached out to other top gaming CEOs and founders to join his climate pledge.

  • The veteran mobile gaming CEO, who currently runs the cheekily titled Super Evil Megacorp, was alarmed by climate reports that detailed the hazards of an Earth that warms more than 2°C.
  • Worse, there are reports that calculate a 5% to 10% chance of a catastrophic 6°C increase.
  • “If you run a company and there's a 5% to 10% chance of something going wrong, like you buy insurance, right?” he said. “You do something about it.”

He shaped his pledge on an 80/20 hedge:

  • The bulk went toward conventional climate solutions.
  • A fifth is going to a group researching emergency measures like brightening clouds so they reflect more light into space.

The big picture: A wide range of gaming companies have been putting effort into climate change.

  • Ubisoft announced emission reduction targets this spring.
  • Gaming tech giant Unity said this month that it was committing to net-zero carbon emissions immediately.
  • Segerstrale said he was inspired by the example of Space Ape, a mobile studio that announced in 2019 a plan to go carbon negative.

The bottom line:  “I'd really, really encourage everyone to do what they can," Segerstrale said, "because we want to look back and say we really did our best.”

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