Downloading data from the internet uses electricity, so game developers of all sizes would do well to minimize the amount of data players have to download.
A heavy responsibility lies on the delivery service providers such as Steam, PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox who wield the power to optimise their systems, but there are still ways for developers to both reduce their own footprint and put pressure on industry giants.
The internet does get more efficient each year, and so the environmental cost of each downloaded byte tends to roughly halve every two years. Unfortunately, we also keep making bigger and bigger files to download. But we can buck that trend! We are learning how to make smaller games, smarter patches, and splitting games up realizing that not every player needs every part of the game. Some need only the single player campaign, others only the multiplayer. Those 4K art assets are wasted on users who don’t have the screen for it (or who just don’t care). Finally, we can control our releases so downloads happen primarily when electricity is at its cleanest (and cheapest).