I've had enough of companies using "Eco-friendly" as a cop-out. They're not being "eco-friendly" because they give a shit about the customer or the environment; it's for their own gain. For profit. To make money. It's all about the bottom line. If they gave a shit at all, they would have started all this a long time ago. Why just now? Why so suddenly?
"Tear From The Red"
Just in the case of XB360 games, we've seen the cases change form several times since launch all in the name of "eco-friendliness." Launch games like Nintety-Nine Nights and Chrome Hounds came in a transparent green case that, when opened, displayed artwork behind both sides of the case's interior; it was a landscaped picture printed on the backside of the case's exterior insert, and it looked great. Not too long after and b efore anyone could notice, that nice touch silently disappeared, spurring interest in the minds of consumers who had noticed the game's price had not changed. Some time after that, I brought titles like Super Street Fighter IV, Dead Rising 2, and Lost Planet 2 only to find that the backs had been hollowed-out and whittled-down into a frail, flimsy shell of its former self. They looked pathetic then and still do now every time I open one up to play a game. Between the hollowed-out centers of each side of the case was small "Eco-Box" branding on the spine interior. The move from brands like Amaray and Scanavo to Eco-Box was undoubtedly to conserve, yet game prices haven't gotten any cheaper. Adding insult to injury, the great-deceiver EA has recently cut physical instruction manuals from its games, citing an "eco-friendly" digital replacement in-game. Is all this to conserve for the environment, or to conserve for corporations?
Quantity Over Quality
It's all about the bottom line, and if there was no monetary gain involved in "going green," none of these companies would be "eco-friendly." Now, all of this "eco-this" and "eco-that" for environmental and customer benefit would be more believable if we saw price-drops in the products these "eco-friendly" companies are selling. This is a much larger issue at hand across all industries, but in this case we're looking at game companies. If they reduce plastic cases to whatever-percent-less plastic, and cut-out instruction manuals, then why aren't games any cheaper? Why is the consumer paying the same for a new game as they were before the "eco-friendly" trend? This isn't just an example of how game companies are using eco-exploitation to cut quality and raise costs, but how non-game companies are doing the same thing. To our dismay, we're paying top-dollar for sub-par quality.
The Poisoned Apple
Then, you got EA. They make a killing off bullshit like Madden and from swallowing-up any competition that may arise. As if them utilizing the flimsy Eco-Box cases wasn't insulting-enough already, the big-money giant no longer even provides an instruction manual. Instead of a physical instruction manual with some sort of value, you get a "digital manual" in its place. If Capcom can strike a happy medium providing both full-color and black & white instruction manuals for specific title runs, then why can't EA? That being said, why hasn't the price of their games been reduced? Of course, it has nothing to do with the bottom line of money, and everything to do with the high-road of bettering the environment, right? Notice this kind of shit and look no further to see that they're some of the biggest fucking cons in the industry.
"Below The Bottom"
The thing that gets me here is the exploitation of a good cause to line corporate pockets. The decisions made, the things done, are not for the cause, but for milking more money out of (already) broke consumers in a recession. Odd how it's all about conservation, yet nobody seems to care about the resources required to print all the money needed to buy anything at all. They don't care about you, what you think, how much you pay, how much you get, how much you deserve, or the environment.