Reduce negative impact

How BetaDwarf became carbon neutral through a change of hosting services

By adding ‘climate-friendly’ to the pro’s and con’s list when searching for hosting services, BetaDwarf reduced their climate impact attributed to distribution to near zero. Hosting services are a big part of the climate impact for game companies that run games-as-a-service. Servers consume a great deal of electricity but can easily be an overlooked climate impact, as you are not in direct control of the power supply for the data centers that provide your hosting service.

Knowing was half the battle

BetaDwarf was in the market for changing their hosting services for their new game Minion Master as part of expanding into new territory. Founder and CEO Steffen Kabbelgaard had recently become aware of the share of climate impact that hosting services make up for a game company and had decided to do something about it.

As part of their search for hosting services, BetaDwarf wrote down a list of possible pro’s and con’s – and then added ‘climate neutral’ to the list. The resulting score left 2 top options, both with reasonable scores, where one was Microsoft Azure, which had 60% offset for their power consumption, and the other was Google Cloud, which had 100%. As it turned out Google Cloud performed best in several categories and was as well the most climate-friendly.

Large effect with reasonable effort

Migrating the game from their existing hosting service was a small task that took the team around one or two weeks. The effort for looking into carbon emissions and energy for the services was easy as well. BetaDwarf found that most larger hosting services already provide these numbers. They considered the risk of greenwashing on the part of the hosting services but found that the numbers provided looked solid.

“If you are running a server-based game, this seems to be the most effective way of reducing your climate impact. It beats non-meat days in the office and other stuff we considered.”

Steffen Kabbelgaard, founder and CEO of BetaDwarf.

Large effect with reasonable effort

Because it took so little extra effort, and the reduction in climate impact is considerable, BetaDwarf has made ‘carbon emissions’ a permanent addition to their choice for hosting future games. 

“Maybe larger game companies have had other experiences, but this definitely worked for well for us.”

Steffen Kabbelgaard, founder and CEO of BetaDwarf.

And as the choice will come up whenever they expand a game into new territories this is an easy and important way for BetaDwarf to reduce their company’s impact.

Three takeaways

  1. Carbon emission from hosting services is a big part of the climate impact of games – and it can be easily managed
  2. Add ‘carbon emissions’ to your list of criteria when you research hosting service and score potential service providers
  3. Start with one game in one territory, and see where it leads you!

About BetaDwarf

BetaDwarf was established in 2010 and has since released three titles. In 2019 was backed by a venture company with USD 8,1M to work on upcoming titles and growing the latest release of Minion Masters. Minion Masters was among the top 30 free-to-play titles on Steam in 2020.

Established: 2010 
Released titles: Minion Master (2019), Forced Showdown (2016), Forced (2013)
MAU: 300.000
Employees: 22

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