A lot of companies want to get into the games business. The most recent entrant is Waste Management, who reported revenues of $11.8 billion in 2009.
The company has a wholly-owned subsidiary called Greenopolis, charged with the mission of social awareness around recycling and the environment. A tiered business plan revolves around real-world rewards for eco-friendly behavior. And now the firm is using games to fulfill that mandate.
Oceanopolis lets players play a game like FarmVille, but set on an island paradise, where trash begins to wash up on shore. Instead of harvesting, you recycle. Points then let you decorate your island, and you can visit friend's islands.
The project's creative director, Jeff Smith, says the effect is to view trash as treasure. "You start wanting to pick this stuff up." Beyond the game, players can be rewarded with real-world credits for entertainment and dining experiences.
The company hopes to expand to the iPhone and other platforms. The game launches on Facebook on August 21st and the beta was opened today.