EA puts an end to the instruction manual (UPDATED)

by: Jeremy -
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*Updated with official press release.

Let’s be honest, the usefulness of instruction manuals in today’s market is merely a fraction of what it once was; long ago, the manuals used to be the source of everything that you wanted, or needed, to know about a game. It seems as though in recent years, many game companies were beginning to “skimp” on the amount of information included in the manuals. I have seen some games with instruction booklets as thin as 3-4 pages. Everyone seems to be shifting to the use of in-game tutorials and EA is the first company to just go ahead and do away with the manuals all together.

Electronic Arts has announced that they will no longer produce instruction manuals for games published under the EA Sports label. The decision actually began with the recently released Fight Night Champion. The full statement regarding the decision is available in press release form on the next page.

Honestly, this makes perfect sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy and informational booklet as much as the next guy, but the quality of them has been declining rapidly over the past couple of years. I knew that it was only a matter of time before someone decided to do away with them all together. 

EA Transitions to In-Game Digital Manuals and Reduces Overall Printed Materials By 40%

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. – March 22, 2011 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced a worldwide environmental initiative that will reduce its printed materials in packaged products by 40%. Leading the initiative is a move to eliminate printed game manuals and replace them with easily-accessible digital manuals. The green initiative is being applied to all titles on PC, the PlayStation®3 (PS3) computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. The program launched earlier this year with the release of Fight Night Champion on the PS3 and Xbox 360 and Mass Effect™ 2 on PS3 and will continue with all EA titles shipping across the globe.

EA’s on-disc manuals will be easily accessible via the main and pause menus. This will allow players to conveniently view instructional information on the fly as they play. Customers can also find EA digital manuals in multiple languages online at: http://support.ea.com/app/manuals.

“EA is committed to a healthy and sustainable environment," said John Schappert, Chief Operating Officer at Electronic Arts. “We are reducing packaging materials, eliminating printed manuals and increasing the availability of digital content at EA.com.”

In addition to this digital manual initiative, EA also embraces new environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient, and water-conserving technologies in the manufacturing and distribution of its products. Recently in North America, EA executed a full implementation of Reduced Material DVD Style Cases (RMCs) for PS3, Wii™, Xbox 360, and PC-DVD retail products. RMCs require less material and energy to produce than a standard DVD case, are made from 100% polypropylene, and are easy to recycle. EA has also made great progress by eliminating bulky shipping materials and implementing recycled materials whenever possible.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA Mobile TM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2010, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.7 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million units. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.

EA, EA SPORTS, EA Mobile and POGO are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Mass Effect is a trademark of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Xbox and Xbox LIVE are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. Wii is a trademark of Nintendo. 
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