EA Doing Away With Game Manuals

Posted by BradNicholson (812 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. 

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!
#1 Posted by BradNicholson (812 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. 

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!
#4 Posted by msavo (7522 posts) -

WOO

#5 Posted by Yummylee (20567 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.

#6 Posted by DonChipotle (2655 posts) -

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

#7 Posted by OwnlyUzinWonHan (1477 posts) -

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

#8 Edited by MayorFeedback (672 posts) -

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

#9 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 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.

#10 Edited by mustachioeugene (483 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!

#11 Posted by ChrisTaran (1488 posts) -

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

#12 Posted by ssj4raditz (1125 posts) -

I never read the manuals, so whatever...

#13 Posted by Twiggy199 (495 posts) -

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

#14 Posted by JackSukeru (5816 posts) -

I'm fine with manuals disappearing altogether.

#15 Posted by ThrdDegreeBurns (17 posts) -

wolo

#16 Posted by BasketSnake (1111 posts) -

I love the smell of fresh manual in the morning.

#17 Posted by Seraphim84 (399 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.

#18 Posted by Crono (2620 posts) -

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

#19 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5235 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.

#20 Posted by Brendan (7511 posts) -

Whatever.

#21 Posted by CountYourBlessings (166 posts) -

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

#22 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4969 posts) -

Manuals on the disc? THE FUTURE!!!

#23 Posted by yoshimitz707 (2446 posts) -

Goddamn Eco cases are the worst!

#24 Posted by Zidd (1832 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.

#25 Posted by Dustpan (1686 posts) -

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

#26 Posted by zyn (2591 posts) -

I approve of this.

#27 Posted by 1337W422102 (996 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.

#28 Posted by ZmillA (2232 posts) -

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

#29 Posted by billyhoush (1186 posts) -

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

#30 Posted by Rattle618 (1463 posts) -

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

#31 Posted by go_diego_go (34 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. 

#32 Posted by Sneakybadger (223 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.

#33 Posted by ALavaPenguin (181 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.

#34 Posted by tobygw (579 posts) -

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

#35 Posted by Scooper (7882 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.

#36 Posted by Little_Socrates (5649 posts) -

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

#37 Posted by FreakAche (2938 posts) -

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

#38 Posted by TekZero (2638 posts) -

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

#39 Posted by Hector (3346 posts) -
How about EA just does away with the box and disc? Let's go digital.
#40 Posted by denryu12 (36 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 ?

#41 Edited by ProfessorEss (7123 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.

#42 Posted by 234r2we232 (3181 posts) -

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

#43 Posted by NekuCTR (1663 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.

#44 Posted by Phoenix87 (448 posts) -

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

#45 Posted by Sogeman (852 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.

#46 Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror (2055 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.

#47 Posted by Chindie (192 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.

#48 Posted by EpicSteve (6439 posts) -

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

#49 Posted by phrosnite (3517 posts) -

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

#50 Posted by DougQuaid (1267 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!

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