EA hits new low: no manual!

#1 Posted by clubside (35 posts) -

The "manual" business of this generation of consoles has been all over the place from Microsoft's early full-color Perfect Dark Zero to the modern four-page "fold" preferred by execrable Activision. However Electronic Arts has reached a new low with Alice: Madness Returns by including a four-page fold that itself is not a manual but a list of legal bullshit and a pointer to the manual being on disc. EA had previously descended to Activision's level of buyer-snubbing with black-and-white folds while Nintendo and Sony continue with fat full-color pack-ins, but it was never this bad. How many cents did this save you, you cheap bastards? Even 2K's release of Duke Nukem Forever has a full-color, albeit short, "manual" included.

#2 Edited by Aishan (1045 posts) -

Didn't they announce a while back that they're were doing away with them for all their titles? 
Edit: Yep.

#3 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7097 posts) -

I miss big fat manuals.

#4 Posted by SgtGrumbles (1024 posts) -

You really like you some manuals huh?

#5 Edited by DeeGee (2175 posts) -

... why is this an issue?
I mean, manuals could not be less necessary in this age, it's better for the environment and it probably did save them a decent amount of money.

#6 Edited by Slaker117 (4857 posts) -

Why does this matter?
In fact, I'm hoping that soon we won't even have discs.

#7 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2037 posts) -

Assassin's Creed has been doing manuals perfectly (for console games, at least): just give the very basics in a short 4-5 pages, then have all of the more complex controls and information in the game itself in a menu that's easy to find. 

#8 Posted by Landon (4134 posts) -

Manuals have two purposes now a days.  
1: Something to read on the car ride hope 
2: Something to read when you're on the toilet. 
When is the last time we even needed a manual? Manuals use to be important because they helped explain game mechanics or the story. All of that stuff is already in the game now. As much as I enjoy a nice, full color, beautifully designed manual, they just have no use anymore. They are a waste of paper and we should stop making them.

#9 Posted by Deeveeus (486 posts) -

There is absolutely no need for manuals anymore and they should be included on the discs. I know one thing about owning physical copies of games...years later they do nothing but collect dust and get lost

#10 Edited by FritzDude (2316 posts) -

Not an issue if the game developers can provide me with a good in-game tutorial and some nice extras.

#11 Edited by ConstantRa1n (383 posts) -

Next up. Physical obsolescence.

#12 Posted by W0lfbl1tzers (1789 posts) -

I still can't tell if you're being serious. 

#13 Posted by SteamPunkJin (1283 posts) -

Since companies are now using cheaper packages and not putting in printed manuals can we some fuckin price cuts? 

#14 Posted by UlquioKani (1285 posts) -

Modern games implement thorough tutorials to make sure you understand how to play

#15 Posted by EuanDewar (5155 posts) -


#16 Posted by Bollard (6515 posts) -
@Aishan said:
Didn't they announce a while back that they're were doing away with them for all their titles? 
Edit: Yep.
This. It was announced ages ago cause they were trying to save paper or something.
#17 Posted by Yanngc33 (4551 posts) -

@MariachiMacabre said:

I miss big fat manuals.

Not me. I live in France and the manuals come in 5 different languages. They used to be huge and deformed the box

#18 Posted by TorMasturba (1123 posts) -

Dude! Is your house under a rock?

#19 Posted by MaFoLu (1871 posts) -

Manuals are not really needed nowadays since pretty much every game features in-game tutorials, and if those tutorials doesn't explain everything, atleast there is still a manual on the disc.

Manuals on the disc itself can also be better at telling you how stuff works, since they can then include videos which shows the feature in effect, though that is pretty much an in-game tutorial at that point...

While I can see why people would want manuals, I don't really think it's worth the trouble to write down what is already shown in the game.

You could also argue that it's better for the environment to not have paper manuals.

#20 Posted by zameer (633 posts) -

I think your average game has become so intuitive that manuals have become pretty much redundant for most games. You could always consult the online PDFs or FAQs if you still need help..

#21 Posted by ShaneDev (1702 posts) -

The only thing I ever used a manual for was finding out about back story info for a game, and they stopped including that sort of stuff years ago.

#22 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5195 posts) -

If this is the lowest the gaming industry has ever been, I think it's in pretty good shape.

#23 Posted by Matoya (449 posts) -


#24 Posted by Kazona (3268 posts) -

I applaud this move, and I think more publishers should follow suit. The majority of games have a solid enough tutorial built in that a paper manual no longer serves any real purpose.

#25 Posted by RE_Player1 (7946 posts) -
I haven't read a manual in years and I have never taken any notes at the back of them.
#26 Posted by phish09 (1112 posts) -

I can't remember the last time I even looked at a manual.  All the controls can always be pulled up in an in-game menu.  I don't know what else I'd even need one for.  I say, good on EA for doing that little bit to help the environment.  Now, if only they could do the customers a favor and take that off the price of the games.

#27 Posted by DonPixel (2757 posts) -

@clubside: Im actually Okay with this... saves valuable resources.

#28 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2269 posts) -

Yeah, who really gives a shit about manuals. Just about every single game made in the last ten years has tutorials.

#29 Posted by Hector (3522 posts) -

Welcome to the future!

#30 Edited by mekon (321 posts) -

I think having a manual on the disc is a great idea, instead of the printed manual. I'm more interested in having a minimal amount of printed glossy (so it lasts) paper laying out the key/button layout of a game, with a brief description of the in-game special moves/powers (if they exist) on the other side of the page. I spent an hour playing Crysis, followed by an hour of Chronicles of Riddick today, and because I hadn't played either for a few weeks I had to relearn all that stuff but I didn't feel the need to re-read the entire manual. If they can't include the full manual on the disc, just put it on the internet. The thing is that once you've invested a number of hours in a game and you've been past the tutorial, you're stuffed.

#31 Posted by skadave (248 posts) -

Printing ain't cheap (i know, it's what i do for a living).

#32 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6805 posts) -

That ain't news.  Really no need for a manual anyways even though I like to see a big thick, pretty manual when I open a box.

#33 Posted by sopranosfan (1965 posts) -

I don't really even look to see if a game has a manual. 
#34 Posted by TheHT (12556 posts) -

Yeah, they said no manuals a while back. I only want manuals for RPG games anyways.

#35 Posted by Marz (5745 posts) -

Yeah it was announced awhile back that they wouldn't come with manuals.  You can still download a digital one if you really want it.

#36 Posted by LollerskateDJ (27 posts) -

People actually read the manuals still? :O
I thought they made good bathroom reading material though :P

#37 Posted by Zippedbinders (1082 posts) -
@SteamPunkJin said:
Since companies are now using cheaper packages and not putting in printed manuals can we some fuckin price cuts? 
Hahaha, you are one funny guy.
#38 Posted by beard_of_zeus (1750 posts) -

I personally like reading through manuals for some crazy reason, but I don't think this is a big deal. The in-game manual for this particular game is done well, plus we're saving paper! And most games these days have in-game tutorials to teach the player and help you out anyways.

#39 Posted by supermike6 (3774 posts) -

Persona 3 and 4 had cool manuals. That being said, they both had basically the exact same manual. Those are the only two manuals since the N64 that I have actually wanted to look at, so EA discontinuing manuals means pretty much nothing to me. The ones they used to have probably weren't that amazing anyways.

#40 Posted by AhmadMetallic (19303 posts) -
@ConstantRa1n said:
Next up. Physical obsolescence.
that sucks so hard.. and it's true :( 
i'm glad i get to have a hard copy of Battlefield 3. 
#41 Posted by Vorbis (2763 posts) -

Can't even remember the last time I read a manual. This makes me sad.

#42 Posted by Kyreo (4683 posts) -

@MariachiMacabre said:

I miss big fat manuals.

I can't tell if your sarcastic or not but I know I sure miss them.

#43 Posted by Cloudenvy (5874 posts) -

@Kyreo said:

@MariachiMacabre said:

I miss big fat manuals.

I can't tell if your sarcastic or not but I know I sure miss them.

Nothing better than having my father drive me to the store to get a new game and then read the manual on the way back..Oooooh the memories.

#44 Posted by Beforet (3006 posts) -

I say good riddance to the damned things. I prefer to have all of the documentation to be available in game, or, even better, for the the gameplay to be intuitive enough that they are unnecessary.

#45 Posted by Marokai (3384 posts) -

I've always loved game manuals, so it's sad to see them go just because of some cold calculation of "we can save x amount of cents per copy published if we cut back on paper usage, whaddya say, guys?!"

#46 Posted by crusader8463 (14755 posts) -

I will miss them, but they have been dead for a long time. The last awesome one I had was the one that came with the Big Box copy of Baldur's Gate 2. That fucking thing was sexy as hell, and was so helpful when playing the game. Now if you will excuse me, I have a date with a certain manual and some sweet sweet snuggling to do.

#47 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7802 posts) -

People use manuals for games?

#48 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7097 posts) -

@Matoya said:


I think you need to calm the fuck down bro. Don't post on forums while under the influence of meth.

#49 Posted by valrog (3741 posts) -

Think of the trees. Then again, if they were so concerned about the environment, it wouldn't hurt to plant a few hundred trees here and there...
But yeah, I miss the old manuals that explained the story and locations and included a map and whatnot...

#50 Posted by Klei (1799 posts) -

It saves trees.

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