Video games industry seeks to raise and reach millions in the race to save three endangered species

April 22, 2024

Forty major video games, including the likes of Clash Royale, Angry Birds and Pac-Man, have come together to introduce “wildlife takeovers” in their games and call on their players to educate and act in support of three gravely threatened species.

Some of the biggest studios in games such as Ubisoft, Tencent, Bandai Namco, Supercell, Rovio and Sybo have all teamed up to educate and inspire their gamers to raise funds to support the Harlequin Toad, Snow Leopard and Manta Ray through play. The green activations are set to go live from June 1 in support of World Environment Day, and will include activations such as:

  • Pac Man (Bandai Namco) will launch a new Play for the Himalayas campaign which will see a new unique adventure map of 20 levels where players can learn and act in support of the Snow Leopard;
  • Tray Racers (Bitloom Games) will introduce a new Toad Mode which will see gamers shift away from competing for speed but instead players will compete to save as many Harlequin Toads from the mangrove swamps giving them the chance to learn and act about these amphibians;
  • Minions Rush (Gameloft) will ask players to protect the Indian Ocean and safeguard the lives of Manta Rays by beating the Garbage Villain and his plan to take all of the Ocean’s inhabitants;
  • Brawl Stars (Supercell) will challenge players to help rescue as many Harlequin Toads as they can as they spawn in battle. Winning players will earn rewards like coins, power points or Harlequin Toad exclusive cosmetics such as a pin, spray and player icon.

The activations are part of the Green Game Jam, which has been running since 2019, and has seen studios from across the world taking part in a series of expert workshops where they learnt about these ecosystems and species and discussed how to integrate green activations as live updates in their games.

Players themselves will get the opportunity to vote on their favourite activation beginning June 5th, World Environment Day, to determine the Players’ Choice Award. Studios will have the chance to vie for seven other Awards: Best in Wildlife, UNEP Choice, Industry’s Choice, Most Adoptable, Media’s Choice, Creator’s Choice and Google’s Choice, previous winners can be seen here.

Sam Barratt, Chief, Youth, Education & Advocacy, UN Environment said:

“Biodiversity including wildlife and habitat protection, and climate change, are two sides of the same coin. The studios participating in this year’s jam have gone all out to help build a bridge with their players to help foster a care for the natural world. Every year we’re just so impressed at the level of commitment and creativity put forward by the game teams.”  

Official partners for the 2023 Green Game Jam are Google, wildlife game company Internet of Elephants and impact platform Milkywire, which will distribute funds to 8 partner organisations working to protect wild habitats and liaise with local communities on the ground.