EA Doing Away With Game Manuals

Avatar image for bradnicholson
Posted by BradNicholson (1556 posts) -

The game manual has been shrinking over the last couple of years. Now,  Electronic Arts is going one step further by doing away with the bothersome paper contraptions entirely for all of its upcoming retail-based games.  

The reason has nothing to do with money, according to EA. No, the manual is getting canned for the fate of the world, as EA “goes green.” This is a similar excuse used by Ubisoft earlier in April 2010 when it announced that it was doing away with its own paper manuals.
 

Mass Effect 2 (PS3) and Fight Night Champion were the first two games to ship without a manual under this new initiative. 
Mass Effect 2 (PS3) and Fight Night Champion were the first two games to ship without a manual under this new initiative. 

The catch here is that you’ll still be able to get access to an EA manual if you really need it. All manuals from this point forward will be included on EA games' discs. Additionally, you’ll also be able to download the manual on the official EA Web site and then print it out if you so desire (you tree-killer, you).

According to a press release, EA will also start using those reduced-material DVD style cases that we all love. The publisher estimates that it's reducing the amount of material in its packaging by around 40 percent overall. That's a savings everyone can feel good about!
Avatar image for bradnicholson
#1 Posted by BradNicholson (1556 posts) -

The game manual has been shrinking over the last couple of years. Now,  Electronic Arts is going one step further by doing away with the bothersome paper contraptions entirely for all of its upcoming retail-based games.  

The reason has nothing to do with money, according to EA. No, the manual is getting canned for the fate of the world, as EA “goes green.” This is a similar excuse used by Ubisoft earlier in April 2010 when it announced that it was doing away with its own paper manuals.
 

Mass Effect 2 (PS3) and Fight Night Champion were the first two games to ship without a manual under this new initiative. 
Mass Effect 2 (PS3) and Fight Night Champion were the first two games to ship without a manual under this new initiative. 

The catch here is that you’ll still be able to get access to an EA manual if you really need it. All manuals from this point forward will be included on EA games' discs. Additionally, you’ll also be able to download the manual on the official EA Web site and then print it out if you so desire (you tree-killer, you).

According to a press release, EA will also start using those reduced-material DVD style cases that we all love. The publisher estimates that it's reducing the amount of material in its packaging by around 40 percent overall. That's a savings everyone can feel good about!
Avatar image for re_player1
#4 Posted by RE_Player1 (8006 posts) -

WOO

Avatar image for yummylee
#5 Posted by Yummylee (24646 posts) -

Well, there's barely anything in them anyway, these days, so not much of a loss. Admittedly, though, DA2's was vital to get a better understanding of all the emoticons, even though most where self explanatory.

Avatar image for donchipotle
#6 Posted by DonChipotle (3371 posts) -

I love manuals. I read them cover to cover. Oh well...

Avatar image for ownlyuzinwonhan
#7 Posted by OwnlyUzinWonHan (1553 posts) -

I'm sure their savings will be passed on to the consumers!
 
...Right?

Avatar image for mayorfeedback
#8 Edited by MayorFeedback (685 posts) -

One step closer to an all digital future, I suppose.

Avatar image for nintendoeats
#9 Posted by nintendoeats (6203 posts) -

I'm cool with this, though it is infuriating when you actually need a manual. On-disc ones aren't really as useful, because you can't refer to them while playing.
 
That could actually be a really useful system level feature. a manual-while-playing thing. Of course, that would probably turn into monetized walkthrough-while-playing thing.

Avatar image for mustachioeugene
#10 Edited by mustachioeugene (582 posts) -

they should just use a smartphone barcode so people can download a pdf directly to their mobiles.  Of course, I could see them monitizing it, and it would only be available to EA accounts that have activated their online pass. 
 
Maybe we shouldn't be giving them ideas.... 
 
"What does this green bar on the screen represent?  Better check the EA pass enabled manual..." 
 
For just $10, get 12 months access to our Online Pause Menu™ and find out what the buttons on the controller actually do! Subscribe today!

Avatar image for christaran
#11 Posted by ChrisTaran (2036 posts) -

Greener, aka save the company money and using marketing bullshit to make it look like a positive move.

Avatar image for ssj4raditz
#12 Posted by ssj4raditz (1156 posts) -

I never read the manuals, so whatever...

Avatar image for twiggy199
#13 Posted by Twiggy199 (610 posts) -

i only read em on the way home from buying the game

Avatar image for jacksukeru
#14 Posted by jacksukeru (6544 posts) -

I'm fine with manuals disappearing altogether.

Avatar image for thrddegreeburns
#15 Posted by ThrdDegreeBurns (20 posts) -

wolo

Avatar image for basketsnake
#16 Posted by BasketSnake (1745 posts) -

I love the smell of fresh manual in the morning.

Avatar image for seraphim84
#17 Posted by Seraphim84 (471 posts) -

I'm gonna love the stories of the old hard-headed folk who want their damn manuals and will go so far as to print out these online versions.

Avatar image for crono
#18 Posted by Crono (2762 posts) -

I'm sure a majority of people never even look at a game manual anyway so this is all for the better, really.

Avatar image for wolf_blitzer85
#19 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5440 posts) -

Meh whatever. I never really look at the manual anymore as games just tend to hold your hand the first few steps, so I'll just roll with that.
 
Now PC RPG's however, are not exempt from this. Their boxes and the contents within should take approximately seven trees and the contents within to create. I'm still in love with my Witcher retail box.

Avatar image for brendan
#20 Posted by Brendan (8984 posts) -

Whatever.

Avatar image for gavinn
#21 Posted by Gavinn (180 posts) -

Finally, the ability to find manuals on eBay all you avid collectors out there! Colour manuals will now be worth a fortune.

Avatar image for ollyoxenfree
#22 Posted by OllyOxenFree (5015 posts) -

Manuals on the disc? THE FUTURE!!!

Avatar image for yoshimitz707
#23 Posted by yoshimitz707 (2539 posts) -

Goddamn Eco cases are the worst!

Avatar image for zidd
#24 Posted by zidd (1929 posts) -

No more instruction booklets? When will this madness end? Whats next? Shipping games in boxes with half the plastic missing!?... Oh wait they already do that.

Avatar image for dustpan
#25 Posted by Dustpan (1781 posts) -

What will fill the void inside my cases now?!
 
Oh, advertisements.

Avatar image for zyn
#26 Posted by zyn (2765 posts) -

I approve of this.

Avatar image for 1337w422102
#27 Posted by 1337W422102 (1204 posts) -

Most of the paper used for printing comes from tree farms, where trees are planted explicitly for the purpose of making paper.  If you want more trees to be planted, use more paper.  Fuck ecohipsters.
 
When I pay for a goddamn game, I expect more in the box than just a disc and a case.  Not that I'd buy anything from EA, mind you, but still.

Avatar image for zmilla
#28 Posted by ZmillA (2409 posts) -

well...I guess I'm never taking a crap again.

Avatar image for billyhoush
#29 Posted by billyhoush (1263 posts) -

Increased profits by making cuts to consumer products under the guise of "going green." GENIUS!!

Avatar image for rattle618
#30 Posted by Rattle618 (1505 posts) -

I haven't read a manual since fucking Baldur's Gate.

Avatar image for go_diego_go
#31 Posted by go_diego_go (41 posts) -

If manuals today were anything like the short story, "you won't know what the hell is really going on if you don't read this" manuals of old I would be infuriated. Truth is that now manuals really aren't worth the paper they are printed on. 

Avatar image for sneakybadger
#32 Posted by Sneakybadger (233 posts) -

JUST THINK!  
a paid ipad app where you can download  the manuals! 
  
since I rent games and download pc games via steam this doesn't concern me.

Avatar image for alavapenguin
#33 Posted by ALavaPenguin (752 posts) -

maaaan I like manuals.  But honestly I would rather them just not put them in instead of the stupid 2 page black and white bits of garbage they use now lol.

Avatar image for tobygw
#34 Posted by tobygw (665 posts) -

Might as well. They have gotten to the point where they are useless anyways.

Avatar image for scooper
#35 Posted by Scooper (7920 posts) -

So hypocritical to do away with a 10 page paper manual only to turn on a system that wastes 100s of watts of energy on big screen TVs with central heating on while boiling the kettle.

Avatar image for little_socrates
#36 Posted by Little_Socrates (5844 posts) -

So long as the developers include decent in-game solutions, I'm fine with this.

Avatar image for freakache
#37 Posted by FreakAche (3049 posts) -

I bet most people won't even notice. I don't really have a problem with this.

Avatar image for tekzero
#38 Posted by TekZero (3326 posts) -

But what will I read before a game now? 
 
Also, this leads to more tutorials in games which sucks.

Avatar image for hector
#39 Posted by Hector (3547 posts) -
How about EA just does away with the box and disc? Let's go digital.
Avatar image for denryu12
#40 Posted by denryu12 (37 posts) -

so if there going greener by paying less for paper and plastic how about they  drop the prices of there games a couple o quid ?

Avatar image for professoress
#41 Edited by ProfessorEss (7952 posts) -

I'm all for it, but with all the pre-order code cards, ad inserts, signage, big box collector's editions, flyers and other marketing materials it feels like a pretty empty gesture to me.
 
Whatever tho, I'd kinda prefer they just not have them over them pretending that that folded piece of paper in the box is one.

Avatar image for 234rqsd2323d2
#42 Posted by 234r2we232 (3175 posts) -

-EA. If they can turn it into DLC...

Avatar image for nekuctr
#43 Posted by NekuCTR (1712 posts) -

does anyone have any doubt that, to EA, the Green initiative = Saving money? I wouldn't trust their press releases even if they had them authorized by the pope.

Avatar image for phoenix87
#44 Posted by Phoenix87 (695 posts) -

They will probably have same day DLC of the Manuel and charge $5 dollars for it.

Avatar image for sogeman
#45 Posted by Sogeman (977 posts) -

I don't have a big problem with missing manuals, I do have a problem with those flimsy cases though. I don't trust that they'll survive the shipping through 3 countries. If my BF3 disc gets here with scratches because the case is broken I'm gonna rage.

Avatar image for rhombus_of_terror
#46 Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror (2468 posts) -

most game present a manual structure in-game, (ie showing which buttons to press etc and how to use certain menu's) to the point that you don't need the manual at all. Hell, Steam games have been doing this since the beginning.

Avatar image for chindie
#47 Posted by Chindie (195 posts) -

I like manuals. I used to love the feeling as a kid of buying a new game with my hard saved cash and pulling off the celephane on the way home on the bus and reading the manual. I still get a hit of nostalgia whenever I buy a game and I still read the manual before playing. I like them more than in-game tutorials somehow.
 
Incidentally, on the new boxes note, working a games retailer, I swear the plastic they're even using, especially for Xbox games now, is getting worse. It's got so little rigidity and feels so flimsy.

Avatar image for epicsteve
#48 Posted by EpicSteve (6908 posts) -

Games have good enough tutorials for the most part. I haven't looked at a manuel in years.

Avatar image for phrosnite
#49 Posted by phrosnite (3519 posts) -

Game menuals have been useless for years. I don't even read them...

Avatar image for dougquaid
#50 Posted by DougQuaid (1273 posts) -

No paper manuals?! Cases that just... well.. hold games if you want?! 
WHERE DO I PUT MY MONEY FOR THIS?! EA! TAKE MY MONEY NOW!

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.