EA ditching paper game manuals

Megapublisher's green-packaging initiative will see physical instructions replaced by electronic versions on the game discs.

Electronic Arts has announced an international environmental initiative that will lead to a reduction of its printed materials in packaged products by 40 percent. How will the company do it? Simple: Starting with Mass Effect 2 for the PlayStation 3 and Fight Night Champion, the company has stopped including printed game manuals with its titles.

Electronic Arts is going green.

The replacement? Both games--and all EA games going forward--will have electronic manuals included on the game disc. These manuals will be accessible via the pause and main menus of each game and will also be available in various languages via the website http://support.ea.com/app/manuals.

EA's environmental initiative will also include the introduction of reduced material DVD-style cases for all console and PC cases, which are designed to be easily recyclable. The company also said it will be using "new environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, and water-conserving technologies in the manufacturing and distribution of its products."

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169 comments
neurp
neurp

It seems Mass Effect 2 will not let you view the manual in-game, you have to save, exit to main menu, open extras and view game manual that way. Why was it not available from the in-game menu. This is stupid and time consuming.

toms123
toms123

If it was only the instructions that was left out, I bought Mass Effect 2 for the PS3, and on the back of the box it said 'Includes: - Interactive Back-story by Dark House Comics' Turns out that it is part of the DLC that you get 'free' when you buy the game, the only problem is I have a crap internet connection and the DLC was over 700 MB, it took over 12 hours before I had it downloaded and that was on the 3rd attempt. I have mobile broadband and the usb stick will not work with the PS3 so I have the use my PC as a router to go online, also because the wireless is not very good where I live I have to use a booster to get online. All that for some DLC that should have come on the disc, I think there should have been enough room on the BR disc. If EA want to go green how about putting the game on the disc and I will not have to wast so much energy just to get the start of the game.

Shinkada
Shinkada

I remember buying the Special Edition of Neverwinter Nights. It came with an instruction manual the size of a book and a cloth map of the game area. **** this energy-efficient bull. We've been over this a hundred times before; nature, in the form of livestock, pollutes itself more than we could ever hope to. We don't need to give up life's pleasures just because hippies don't understand numbers. Manuals aren't a big loss, as others have said most devs stopped putting effort into them years ago, but next will be the huge art books you get with some special editions. Anyone else pick up the Special Edition of Bioshock 2? The art book and other extras were the only thing that made me not TAKE IT BACK.

Rovelius
Rovelius

Like if little game manuals had any impact... EA is just trying to look cool and save cash.

anthonycg
anthonycg

Anything to save a buck eh EA?

sportwarrior
sportwarrior

It definitely makes sense to have quick reference manuals accessible from in game pause/menu screens... but I remember the days when (PC) manuals were 40-100 pages thick filled with back story, bits of info on units, weapons, and enemies... I really do miss those.

Flamerdragon
Flamerdragon

I rather have my manual next to me while playing the game, rather than pausing to check it out. If i said, No, they would do it anyway :P But if it's it for green, go ahead.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

tbf I saw this coming, in recent game Manuals have been like 3 pages long, it's ridiculous

Ardus
Ardus

I'm all for saving the environment, but this is a sad, sad day for gaming. Hopefully no other companies decide to follow EA's example, which is clearly based on profit, and not environmentalism.

siiixon
siiixon

LOL RIGHT i $mell $avings for EA. what a bunch or crocks and liars

mischiefmeerkat
mischiefmeerkat

oh sure, like they give a damn about the environment.. if they weren't saving cash by doing this, they wouldn't. you can be sure about that

kffl
kffl

Unless they reduce the price of their games this is a sham. Just another way to save money and make life more difficult for gamers like me who actually keep the manual out as I don't play games daily but once in a while. I count on those manuals w/the control schemes so I don't have to pause the game and go into the options section. Reduce the price and I'll believe they're thinking of us. Don't and it's purely to up their profit margin!

TrueIori
TrueIori

with all the carebear games they be making lately , I can see why this is a good move lol.

dg3215
dg3215

Yeah EA just wants more money, soon they will charge you if you want to install the game on your xbox, and if you want to use it on more than one profile. EA is becoming such a joke, and people know it, just look at how they cannot turn a profit at year end.

Scotterius
Scotterius

Well, publishers pretty much stopped making games that were complicated enough to need manuals years ago. :) The only thing I have used them for recently, is checking for undocumented input keys. Eh, save the trees.

jamyskis
jamyskis

It's a good move, just as long as the game really does incorporate the manual into the game in a sensible way. The way many PC producers have been doing it over the years, by including just a PDF (not least over digital distribution platforms and in budget titles) has been troublesome at best. It really is a pain to ALT-TAB out of the game, call up the manual and then ALT-TAB back in, only for the game to often crash on you.

serialkisser
serialkisser

Does'nt bother me at all, after all, 95% of my game purchases are on steam xD

Vambran
Vambran

How much you want to bet that EA will just stuff the Game cases full of insert Adds instead?

packtop
packtop

I knew after ubisoft did that more publisher would follow peoples shouldn't be surprised when more publisher do the same soon. The greedy Activision publisher is probably the next.

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

I never look at manuals, but I know EA has the shortest manuals I've ever seen and they aren't even in color.

shimya
shimya

@The-Longshot to each his own. I love games, and if i buy a physical copy of a game. I want the complete package. If the manual is not colored, means the publisher is a cheapo. If it is in color, it means this game is the fruit of love. I guess am old school and love tangible stuff. EA's initiative is not green packaging it is cutting costs that should translate to cheaper games from the consumer too. There are many companies that offer you their products without packaging for 5 to 10 dollars cheaper. Therefore, electronic copies for games should be the cheapest form and not the opposite. EA is just trying to be political about it and name it as green initiative.

StarKiller77000
StarKiller77000

The way things are going you will probably have to enter a code online to use it.***Spoiler***(The code can only be used once and can only be found in "new" copies of the game.)

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

@shumya LOL you think the nicest thing about games is reading the manual? perhaps your favorite hobby is reading, not video games, weirdo. Haha, upset cuz you wont get a manual anymore? honestly whens the last time you read one to learn something about a game? i at least refer to them from time to time, but how is it not more convenient to be able to just reference off the disk you are already playing instead of trying to find a manual that may be damaged or lost already!? Tho EA may not be my favorite publisher, I at least applaud their initiative.

shimya
shimya

Boorrinnnggg! Nicest thing about games is reading through a color print manual. EA's manuals usually suck. So no loss there. Might as weel not buy any of their games while we are at it. Save on CD/Hard drive space.

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

Anything we can do in order to save oil! Watch Collapse you'll know what I mean.

serrrich
serrrich

hmm.. How green is this move? You spend more time with console/computer on to read the document. You use more electricity. Most of electricity produced in US is made by carbon based sources (oil, coal,natural gas). So add more CO2 to the atmosphere. Perhaps make the manuals out of recycled resources or out of hemp.

Lexxurious
Lexxurious

Good idea. I like the way the manual for Assassin's Creed is on the pause menu. I find it more useful than hard copies.

lurkyuk
lurkyuk

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

As a green nut myself I praise EA for this. I hope all developers follow suit. Paper is no longer a requirement in most businesses. Now leave the furking trees alone you barzturds.

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

Good, only ever glanced over a manual then never touched it again. If it was integrated well into a game then it might actually be useful (think FF13s menu).

Flint247
Flint247

I always read the manual first when I buy games.

Devils-DIVISION
Devils-DIVISION

@franzito "Make me a better or worse person"??? Then why mention it? And furthermore what about my attitude did you gather from my comment. Back up your assertions. I honestly cannot believe people gave me a negative response because I said: "I have never opened or read a game manual"... Bloody sad world.

tommy_boy9999
tommy_boy9999

well I will never buy a New EA game EVER again. I will always buy used

Ed_Burge
Ed_Burge

One more user unfriendly development. I realize EA is struggling to make a probit, but I would have preferred a price adjustment. When they changed PC contols from Mass Effect to Mass Effect 2 the documentation camie in handy. I hope ME3 will have the same cotrols as ME2.

Henninger
Henninger

@ Freakgrenade I couldn't have said it better myself. Co-Sign100%.

Henninger
Henninger

Im not in favor of this @ all. I absolutely hate not having the manuals when i buy games used. Now EA out right isnt putting them in there?!?!?! I have no control over this & i guess i'll just have 2 deal with it but now every1 else is gonna follow suit.

robayeit
robayeit

It will work for some games not all, so games like FIFA and other sports titles your fine, its pretty much easy to know it, and once u know u dont forget. However, if EA was to an even bigger mass effect in the future, knowing how publishers enjoy titles that are certain of bringing in the cash, then a manual maybe necessary, specially if ur using skills later on the game to defeat a boss, that u wud not normally use. It would be easier for the player to find the control easier via a paper manual.

WKK
WKK

Going green? How about going cheap so they can save money? Capitalism.

A1pha0mega
A1pha0mega

Excellent idea! I can't remember the last time I looked at a manual since most new games present you with some sort of tutorial so that you can learn the controls.

blackace
blackace

They and 2K Sports have been doing this for awhile now. Not sure why EA finally decided to announce this. They've been doing it for about 3 years now. 2K Sport manual are like 3 pages and basically just shows the controls and modes. I still can't find the in game manual for NBA 2K11.

jmr1986
jmr1986

EA have been doing this for a while, the EA Classics and EA Game Value versions of their games do not include a paper manual, instead the gave you an extra DVD with instructions and extra lenguages support, the problem with this is that the most of the time the extra DVD doesn't seem to work. Now they're gonna charge us 60$ for a game without a manual, just great, pay more for less.

pakhair
pakhair

I actually like it, That it will be available through pause menu. Will surely help at times. I'm sure many ppl will hate bcoz coloured manuals are a good read at times

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

From when I got my nice new NES up to my PS3 and xbox game manuals have just become dull back on the day there used to be little bits of story etc that made them worth reading but now most are 6ish pages long and 2 of them are credits the last console game I came across that was decent was fallout3 / / If all game company's are going to do is give you a basic controls list which 90% of games now teach you in the opening level they may as well save themselves the money and save the trees needed to make them (or better still donate said money into a charity that preserves trees and rain forests...unlikely I know but would be nice)

Muteki_X
Muteki_X

@ emperiox I don't have internet at home, and all I care about is offline gaming. I'm right there with you with hating companies that are giving us less on disk and charging more later for "extra" DLC or expecting us to connect to the internet to get material that should have been in the game to begin with. It's a form of discrimination in my opinion. That being said, however, it sounds to me like the information will still be available on the disk itself and still accessible to us offline gamers. I can live with that.

luneth77
luneth77

The whole point of this is that less cost per case = more money for EA. Personally the meatier the game case the better to me. And seriously, who throws away or recycles their game cases?

emperiox
emperiox

To compensate, I'm sure they'll price all of their games at $54.99, right? Wait, you won't? Thought so, greedy pricks... What about the people who don't have the internet and can't go on to that site? I HATE the idea of paying 60 dollars, I guess now we get to pay 60 dollars for even less. EA: The new Activision.