No More Manuals As EA Sports Goes Green

No More Manuals As EA Sports Goes Green

This is the last printed manual you’ll ever see for an EA Sports game. The publisher has joined Ubisoft in releasing games without an instruction booklet, and will instead include a version of instructions that gamers may page through from within the game.

EA Sports spokesman Rob Semsey confirmed the change, begun on March 1 with Fight Night Champion. The decision to drop printed manuals is an effort to support more environmentally friendly production of games, Semsey said.

It also saves on printing costs, of course. The reality is many games now include tutorial levels that do the job better, sports games included. Fight Night Champion begins with one. Gamers may like the idea of a printed instruction booklet, especially to read on the john, but the truth is most jump right into a game without reading one.

Last year, Ubisoft decided to ditch printed instructions in its PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 titles, beginning with Shaun White Skateboarding.


  • Now we have nothing to read on the way home from the shops when we buy THOSE games too.
    Environment? Nope, saving money? Yeah. There are 1,000 ways they could keep printing and still do as much, if not more for the environment that’d keep consumers happy and cost so very little.

    Yet another sale lost, EA.

  • One step closer to dl only games in my opinion. Next they won’t be including the disc because it’s more ‘environmentally friendly’ but we all know they are just slowing transitioning us to receive less for the same price and ultimately, just a file and some consorted online legal agreements. *sigh*

  • And I would bet you we won’t see even the tinest reduction in game prices. They won’t save any of the savings onto the customer.

    You end up with less product for the same price. Lame.

  • EA will save money, we will get less in the box and still be spending the same amount of money I like this oh so much

  • gotta say, this upsets me!! Over the last 20 years i have collected games and for me a manual is part of the product, regardless of weather i read it or not! I have 183 360 games but will not buy a game without a manual! sure going green is great but im sure its just ea finding another way to line their pockets, they save $10 per title on printing costs yet the game is still $99 on the shelf. Hope its just sports titles or thats 1 less crysis 2 being sold!!

    • I think you should be a tad more specific there.

      Some people would be rather confused by your saying you own one hundred and eighty-three thousand three hundred and sixty games.

    • Yeah, totally – a game is not complete without the manual, especially retro stuff! Just wait for the “special editions” that have a manual, only when you preorder of course!

  • Damn you environment, I love a nicely put together manual! Brings back memories of going to the local Blockbuster with my dad and reading the manuals on the way home.

    • Nothing to worry about then, I can barely recall the last time an EA game had a nicely put together manual.

      As a lifelong Nintendo gamer, it honestly shocked me just how barebones almost every 360 manual I have is when I managed to score one last year. Such a completely different experience to manuals on a Nintendo console.

  • Well now, how about all the Carbon they’re pumping out because of all the technology that’s being used to make games?

  • Doesn’t really bother me. I can’t remember the last time I read a game manual – modern day tutorials do a much better job. The one caveat on that, of course, is that every game without a printed manual must always have the control layout available from the pause menu, but again that’s something most games have anyway.

    While publishers are getting rid of manuals, I’d also like to see them get rid those ridiculous little cardboard slipcases that come with some games. It seems utterly pointless to have the cover art for your game on the normal case, then wrap it in a cardboard sleeve which 99% of the time has exactly the same artwork on it.

  • I can’t think of a single game I’ve played this generation where I’ve actually needed to consult the instruction booklet. They’re obsolete in my opinion, to me it seems strange that more publishers haven’t followed in ubisofts footsteps. Why would they waste money on something that most missing?

  • It doesn’t bother me. I love reading manuals but I would rather play games. I know where my priorities lie

  • As someone who plays mostly PC games but has a Wii to cover their console fix; here’s an idea:

    Keep the nice manuals (I would hate to miss out on the delightfully illustrated documentation from the likes of Pikmin or GTA), but go green by removing the following:

    1) the extra four pages used to show the exact same ‘this is what a controller looks like, please don’t eat it’ and ‘these buttons are to make the controller work, do not stick it up your nose’ at the front of any console manual and those worthless ‘dear diary, today the internet gave me the all weapons cheat’ pages at the back

    2) the whole other booklet included in every console game that is another 4-12 pages of reasonably weighted, glossed and high-quality printed pages that tell you ‘insert hardware manufacturer here’ is not liable for any damages if you ‘insert Darwin Award nomination here’ considering one of them should have come with the console in the first place (heck, even the ones that come with a PC of all things are usually just a one page with support numbers and urls below the licensing and sysreq info)

    3) advertising inserts for completely unrelated games printed in full colour double-sided on glossy card stock (eg. don’t advertise for ‘racing sim that isn’t even on the platform for which I bought this game’ inside my ‘no-name sci-fi RPG that isn’t available cross-platform like its competitors’

    4) if you want a fancy slipcase with alternate cover artwork, then make a fancy slipcase with alternate cover artwork. Do not give me a box twice the size of the box inside it with the same artwork and a block of cardboard for spacing!
    (exception being for slipcases designed to hold additional content like artbooks; eg. Machinarium)

  • I really like my manuals and will miss them. Maybe they aren’t as useful any more but once upon a time there was actually good back story and information in them. Maybe we only want them for the nostalgia, I know I recently found a bunch of old NES games and had a lot of fun reading through the manuals. Though people will say they are unnecessary and rarely contain useful information, this is exactly what many gamers are railing against. We want our big game manauls packed with info back.

    The ‘going green’ comment is just an excuse. There is little to no imprint on the world from printing some colour onto some paper. No tree is cut down to make paper, that wasn’t planted for that purpose in the first place.

  • FFS, they could care less about the environment, like all other companies. And what the hell is their reasoning? It’s not like they’re going into the Amazon to cut down tree’s… they would have tree farms.

    Of course it’s just to save money.

  • If they were serious they would make sure steam games cost the same as physical copies.

    Recently imported Dawn of War for PC from the UK to Aus for $31 delivered when the same game cost $60Aus on Steam.

    Get package, enter CD key into steam, throw away unused DVD box and manual. GG planet, its cheaper to destroy you.

  • Now there’s even less of a difference between the pirate and legitimate copy! Why would I ever need to buy again EA?

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