Ubisoft ditching paper manuals for Xbox 360, PS3 games

By on April 19, 2010, 9:32 PM
If you're a diehard gaming traditionalist, you may want to rethink your stance when it comes to game manuals. A new "environmental initiative" is underway at Ubisoft that will end the bundling of paper manuals with the publisher's games. The company will instead provide digital in-game manuals for all titles on the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. The new paperless project will commence this holiday with the launch Shaun White Skateboarding.

Ubisoft said its internal data shows that producing one ton of paper used in its game manuals consumes around two tons of wood from 13 trees, with a net energy of 28 million BTUs -- the average heating and energy for one home per year. In addition to ditching paper booklets, the company has teamed up with Technimark to release the industry's "most environmentally-responsible DVD case" (made from 100% recycled polypropylene) for all of its future PC titles in North America.

"Green" talk aside, the developer believes going digital will allow it to create more robust manuals as well as provide players with easier and more intuitive access to game information.




User Comments: 25

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Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Woohoo... except that it doesn't mean that somebody will get free heating and energy for his house. All of this "going green" buzz is just a marketing ploy, and I'm sick of it.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Ubisoft is ditching paper manuals, Crytek is ditching free demos, Sony is ditching the "other os" feature on it's PS3, and Google is ditching (well, "hiding" the http:// that you see before an address...and we're not even half way through 2010 yet. What other surprises are in store? Sheesh.

Guest said:

it might be a marketing ploy,and i know no one in particular will benefit from this well Ubisoft will..bu either way it does save energy.and this day in age that is what counts..so i'm all for it..in my opinion other publishers should follow in Ubisofts shooes..i mean lets face it, we all look into the manuals mkaybe one or twice until we get the hang of the controls

Guest said:

Yea, its the the way to go. Besides.. who reads game manuals this days ?? o_O

The earth is dying and its time the game industry contributes to being Eco friendly

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't buy it. MUCH cheaper to just load a .pdf manual on a disc than print out thousands of copies and stuff them in a case. "Being green" is just an easy excuse.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

How dare you people accuse a company of trying to save a few bucks under the guise of being environmentally aware!

In all seriousness, I'm not sure the last time that I looked through a game manual. Good riddance!

Guest said:

Cool, now they just have to give up their draconian drm, and I'll be very happy with Ubisoft again.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You'll have to be constantly online to read the manual. If your connection fails for a moment, you will lose your position in the manual.

rufio said:

does this mean we will pay less for games too? probably not...

Timonius Timonius said:

Yup, the good old 'green' excuse. Ummm... with all the 'economy in trouble' talk it makes more sense to admit that it costs money to print all these manuals. It is waaaay cheaper to include it electronically (not to mention it will be harder to 'lose' the manuals now ). And of course we probably won't notice a cheaper game price because they want to make more money with all the savings on production.

Guest said:

The Earth is not "dying", at least not because of man-made global warming since that has been thoroughly debunked as an NWO hoax. The whole point of it is so that the NWO can take control of the world to "save it".

The climate constantly changes naturally and solar activity affects the Earth, these are scientific FACTS. Other facts include the world being hotter many times in the past (I'm talking human history, like the middle-ages, not just in prehistoric times) and having more CO2 in the atmosphere which clearly didn't come from anything man-made.

Even Paul Smith (I think it was Paul Smith) admitted that there's been no global warming for the last 10 years. (Although he calls it just a "blip" and is still trying to convince people that man-made global warming is real.)

Think about it, if the the government is so concerned about the enviroment then why are they (illegally) building all over green-belt land here in the UK and have used rainforest wood to refurbish parliament? Why are they importing millions of immigrants into the country which uses up lots more resources? Stop being brainwashed and start thinking properly.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

masked or hypocrite statements is of no importance if the action really does something good.

i almost never check a games manual (typically masculine huh!) so won't really miss them, but yes ditch also the DRM & some bad ports, let us enjoy the best of a game without feeling guilty or annoyed.

good move Ubisoft, hope others follows then would be more than significant,

cheers!

isamuelson isamuelson said:

Means nothing to me, Ubisoft. When you ditch your draconian DRM, THEN there will be reason to celebrate and cheer you on. Oh, and if you really ARE trying to save costs and the environment, then lower the price of your games that won't have the printed manual anymore. Let's see if they do that.

I doubt it.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

ET3D said:

You'll have to be constantly online to read the manual. If your connection fails for a moment, you will lose your position in the manual.

Hah! Well played, ET3D... Post of the day for me, I think

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Well played, indeed.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

ET3D said:

You'll have to be constantly online to read the manual. If your connection fails for a moment, you will lose your position in the manual.

lol! Oh man that made my day

Renrew Renrew said:

Personally, I never read the printed manuals unless I have problems.

It's nice to have one however if you really want to take advantage of all the attributes of the game. On-line manuals are a no-brainer.

It seems Ubi--- is jumping on the green bandwagon, for whatever reason, but at least they're doing something about it. I'm sure we all remember the autrocious game packaging of yesteryear and I wonder how many trash mountains were created by that packaging.

Johny47 said:

I'm a 'pro gamer' I don't need these 'manuals' you speak of hahaha =P

Seriously, if Ubisoft want to save a little money and even maybe save gamers money by bringing the cost of games down by a tiny bit then cool, it's good for the enviroment too I suppose(can't these manuals be recycled if you have no use for them anyways?)

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It's another step towards pure digital distribution. All you're left with is a box and DVD, which aren't all that needed. In "the good old days" games came with quite a bit of stuff. I remember Infocom adventure games in particular, but there were RPG's with cloth maps, and other cool stuff.

isamuelson isamuelson said:

ET3D said:

It's another step towards pure digital distribution. All you're left with is a box and DVD, which aren't all that needed. In "the good old days" games came with quite a bit of stuff. I remember Infocom adventure games in particular, but there were RPG's with cloth maps, and other cool stuff.

I'm pretty sure you can still get those, which are known as the "Limited Edition" or "Collector's Edition".

Overall, I like the digital distribution. No need to go to the store to get the game. In fact, the Wii does this with it's WiiWare, DSiWare and for all of it's emulator games (for NES, SNES, Genesis, Turbo Grafx16, etc). I wouldn't be surprised if consoles go this route eventually as well.

Guest said:

Ubisoft says it will save 13 trees. I say 13 people at a printing company, 13 artists, 13 packers, 13 lumberjacks, and 13 tree planters just lost their jobs.

What's sad is I won't even save a nickle out of this. Even worse seeing as I can't even view Jpeg pictures with my PS3 while in a game, I don't see how I am going to be able to launch a PDF.

Guest said:

Here's the URL to the ad shown to me by www.techspot.com while I was reading this article/post.

http://www.hp.com/canada/promotions/commercial/ipg/gaplan/pd
/hp_green_action_plan.pdf

Apparently someone got an ironic sense of humour :P

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

isamuelson, in the past these were not special editions, but standard editions. It was standard to get a cardboard box with stuff inside, including hefty manuals, maps and so on, like it's now standard to get a DVD style box with less stuff inside, and apparently soon with nothing inside but the game disc.

Guest said:

man i love this ridiculous "green" Sh1t, they are doing it for the capital gain, 100 percent, thats it. if they fu<king cared about the environment then they would not be thinking of copying EA's ridiculous "10 dollar plan" because that reuses the damn games and doesn't have them end up in a landfill after they are done playing it. why in this day and age, where everything is supposedly promoting recycling, would a major company, EA and potentially Ubisoft, make people pay a penalty for "recycling" their unwanted games.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

it might be a marketing ploy,and i know no one in particular will benefit from this well Ubisoft will..bu either way it does save energy.and this day in age that is what counts..so i'm all for it..in my opinion other publishers should follow in Ubisofts shooes..i mean lets face it, we all look into the manuals mkaybe one or twice until we get the hang of the controls
Yeah well, I'm glad it makes you feel good about yourself. But, the fact of the matter is I'd rather have my paper manuals. Credit card companies want you to go green, with electronic statements. They don't want to drop the interest, they just want to pocket the money for postage and printing. I ride around on a motorcycle that gets about 40 MPG in the city, and keep the tires inflated correctly on my car. Meanwhile, BP is pumping a million gallons (or so) of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, on a daily basis. I'm just real proud of my self for saving a couple of miles per gallon with my bike and car.

Now, they need to stuff their green propaganda and BS where the sun doesn't shine, give me my paper statements, manuals, and while they're at it, they might consider manning their phones with somebody who speaks English...

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