EA Says Goodbye to Paper Manuals, Hello to Digital


Electronic Arts is finally jumping aboard the “Going Green” bandwagon, today announcing a global initiative to eliminate paper manuals and reduce all printed packaging materials by 40% in all future PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 games, a program that began earlier this year with the releases of Fight Night Champion (pictured above) and the PS3 port of Mass Effect 2.

In place of paper manuals will be in-game digital instructions as well as downloadable PDF manuals posted at http://support.ea.com/app/manuals. But don’t worry, I’m sure EA games will still come with plenty of those one-sheet ads and online pass inserts!

EA’s green initiative isn’t stopping at paper manuals either. The company has also adopted “new environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient, and water-conserving technologies in the manufacturing and distribution of its products,” including the use of recyclable Reduced Material DVD cases for PC, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 titles.

What do you think of the ongoing shift from traditional paper manuals to digital? As a collector, I’m torn. But honestly, most manuals aren’t worth a damn any more any way, and downloadable games on PC, PSN and XBLA have proven that in-game instruction guides are much more convenient and accessible than digging through a booklet. So, I’ve long given up on the old days, when game manuals were actually filled with detailed information, creative designs, and collection-worthy artwork.

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Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!