News

EA Sports ditch printed manuals
Posted: 21.03.2011 11:54 by Simon Priest Comments: 31
Those tree hugging liberals at EA Sports have succeeded in a mighty coup for Mother Earth. No more will EA Sports games include printed game manuals.

Instead all 'how to' details will be included in-game. March 1st was the beginning of this initiative with Fight Night Champion the first with no physical manual.

Publisher Ubisoft has been doing this for a while arguing it simply costs too much, in terms of the planet and their accounting department, especially as most people don't read the darn things anyway and end up losing the blighters.

In-game tutorials always tend to serve much better at introducing the game anyhow. Are you going to miss those disclaimer and epilepsy warning riddled booklets? The added bonus of the manual being in-game is that studios could update them as time goes on.
Source: Kotaku
Game advertisements by <a href="http://www.game-advertising-online.com" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.

Comments

By djole381 (SI Elite) on Mar 21, 2011
djole381
Who need install manuals nowadays?
By Maffia01 (SI Member) on Mar 21, 2011
Maffia01
I always used to like the game manual when it ran to a good number of pages. The old Age of Empires 2 one was a good one, these days there isn't much point in having a manual as they normally only list the game controls which I edit more often than not.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Mar 21, 2011
herodotus
Manuals used to be wonderful tomes that could be read for hours away from a game, bringing far more substance for the player when he/she went back to it. Today they are merely bits of shiny paper that noone reads so ditch them, I say.
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Mar 21, 2011
JonahFalcon
I need manuals to see at the very least the controller layout.

This is not "going green". This is just greed.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Mar 21, 2011
FoolWolf
LOL, I come to think of the CIV IV manual that came and made the DVD thrice as thick as an ordinary DVD ;)

PDF that won't be fun.
By Nicolas19 (SI Core Veteran) on Mar 21, 2011
Nicolas19
Depends. For some games, like RPGs, a good manual is of the essence (I still love my Baldurs Gate tome). While for others, like shooters, racing games, some strategies, they're right to ditch it.
By Eversor (SI Elite) on Mar 21, 2011
Eversor
You really don't need manuals. Besides that, most manuals these days are just little two to four page booklets whose only use is to have the install code printed on their backsides.
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Mar 21, 2011
JonahFalcon
You don't? Complex games need one. Period.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Mar 21, 2011
herodotus
Yes, but you just don't get them anymore...at least I don't with my grand strategy and simulators.
By Eversor (SI Elite) on Mar 21, 2011
Eversor
The best thing is to have a digital manual included on the game disk.
By PowerJack (SI Elite) on Mar 22, 2011
PowerJack
Empire Earth's manual was like a bible.
Well as long as the how-to is still there i wont mind, specially since i don't play anything from EA Sports.
By Geforcer (SI Veteran Member) on Mar 22, 2011
Geforcer
Smart move. I'm all about "thinking green". :)
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Mar 22, 2011
JonahFalcon
Uh huh. Then how come EA isn't lowering the price of the game since they're saving money?

Greed.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Mar 22, 2011
herodotus
Jonah I remeber when games were going from floppies to CD-ROM and the Publishers promised a price drop then (fewer materials). Never happened, and despite the dropping of large manuals and supplements (ahh, the days of Empire, Microprose and Jane's) the prices continue to rise. Even when DVD wasannounced as the new format and the large box packaging was going, promises were made of price drops...yeah, you guessed it.
The slim bits of scrap we get with sports and FPS games might as well go straight in the recycle bin anyway, but a drop in price? Never happene before, never will. In fact because of the latest regional adjustments, games now cost more (digitally) for many regions (Region 4 being the most hard hit).
Chuck 'em...I don't even bother with the optional PDF.
By Nicolas19 (SI Core Veteran) on Mar 22, 2011
Nicolas19
One of the drawbacks of DD distribution used to be the lack of printed manuals. This is gone as there are rarely any good printed manuals. However, I frequently read my Victoria 2 manual (.pdf) on my e-reader. Well, the pictures aren't perfect, but the text is there and it is great fun to read on the go. Paradox often gives quality manuals (like that of EU1, I used to read it in class, longing for the game).
Speaking of grand strategies: Herodotus, I answered you question about Rulers of Nations at its review, just didn't notice it earlier.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Mar 22, 2011
herodotus
Yes I saw, thankyou.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Mar 23, 2011
FoolWolf
I also remember a time when they helped you in the manual to complete the first stage of a game with a small walk through guide to get you started ;)
By K3Spice (SI Core) on Mar 23, 2011
K3Spice
Yeah go ahead and take away the useless manuals but not the ones that are useful. Arma 2 CO's manual was very helpful (yes it had a digital version on the disc, but I would have to keep minimizing my game than bringing it back up just to use it). Certain games NEED physical manuals. Anyone try to play Falcon 4.0 allied force with a digital manual?
By Geforcer (SI Veteran Member) on Mar 23, 2011
Geforcer
Back in the old days you couldn't play the game if you don't read the manual. Some games protection was based on the word in the manual.
But games today don't really need any manual. Mostly they are easy to play and they offer a tutorial. So I see no point to have a paper manual. Yes, it is cool. I like the "books" that come with a game, but sometimes it's pretty useless.
By Nicolas19 (SI Core Veteran) on Mar 23, 2011
Nicolas19
K3Spice: I never player Falcon 4.0, but I basically learned English on the few hundred page-long manual of the ancient flight-sim, US Navy Fighters... I spent hours translating word like "flaps", "engage", "afterburner", etc. with a dictionary.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Mar 23, 2011
herodotus
I remember the original "Falcon 3.0" manual (still have it somewhere). Ring-binded, hundreds of pages in length. I lament the passing of the Jane's manuals with their games ("USN Fighter", "USAF" etc) and the likes of Microprose with "Fields of Glory" and "Fleet Defender" and Empire's "The Civil War" and "Flying Corps Gold". Not only did you get comprehensive bulky manuals, but maps, additional publications such as histories of armies, units, aircraft handling notes...all gone or must be bought for hefty prices as additional products.
*sigh*
By Nicolas19 (SI Core Veteran) on Mar 24, 2011
Nicolas19
Yeah... we could well see an "Extended manual" paid-DLC in the near future, and even that will be in .pdf.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Mar 24, 2011
FoolWolf
@ Geforcer: What date does the Silver fleet make port in Porto Bello? ;)

Worlds most clever copy protection? Fail the pirates question and you have to fight a really tough battle and you start with the crappiest ship if not in jail and shipbroken from start ;)
By Geforcer (SI Veteran Member) on Mar 24, 2011
Geforcer
Yup! That's right. I loved that stuff! :D
There were some games that even gave you clues where to look in the manual to solve the puzzle, get the treasure and such. I so love that kind of approach. :D
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Mar 24, 2011
FoolWolf
He he he, yeah me too - a loving affair to the game, the manual and some truly fun moments.

Some games that had a bit too many check ups like this was however really tedious...
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Mar 24, 2011
herodotus
With Flight Sims in particular, now making a strong resurgence with the likes of "Rise of Flight" "DCS A-10C Warthog" and "Il2 Strumovik: Cliffs of Dover" I'll be needing an iPad to read the PDF instructions while playing (Warthog alone takes5 minutes of instrument clicking, or keystrokes just to get to the runway).
By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on Mar 24, 2011
bosnian_dragon
At least they will spare some paper and save some forests from being chopped down ;)
By Geforcer (SI Veteran Member) on Mar 24, 2011
Geforcer
@bosinan_dragon
That's the point. ;)
P.S. Is your nickname in SUN Zmaj od Bosne? Or something like that. :)
By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on Mar 24, 2011
bosnian_dragon
Yes you got it right :) Zmaj Od Bosne is a proper translation to Bosnian language ;)
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Mar 25, 2011
FoolWolf
Oh, shudders - we have had some less then stellar examples when they decided to translate the games into Swedish - Black & White was supposed to be released in Swedish only - but fortunately gamers don't like that so much and after a rally the game was English. I don't recall and at that time didn't care whether it actually had Swedish or not. The manuals in Swedish for shooters is a sad work - some few Swedish sentences and then a line of English FPS terms ;)
By JustCommunication (SI Core) on Mar 25, 2011
JustCommunication
I love game manuals... for me, they were a key part of my childhood development :P But seriously, because when we went out shopping when I was younger, sure, mum would let me get something from GAME, but then we'd have to go do all her crap as well. So I sat in the corner and read the game manual :) They can be pretty interesting you know if the publisher actually puts in effort.