EA drops paper game manuals

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Following Ubisoft's example, Electronics Arts has announced plans to stop including paper instruction booklets with its games. The publisher initially launched the initiative in January with the PlayStation 3 version of Mass Effect 2 and the change went into full effect earlier this month with Fight Night Champion.

The decision will extend to all EA titles worldwide and games will ship with on-disc manuals that are easily accessible from the main menu and pause screen. Gamers can also download digital pamphlets in multiple languages through a dedicated section on EA's support site, though only for certain titles.


EA expects to reduce the printed materials in packaged games by about 40%. The company will undoubtedly save money too, but it hasn't shared any figures and has decided to focus on the environmental angle. "EA is committed to a healthy and sustainable environment," said EA COO John Schappert.

We're not sure how these numbers translate to EA's operations, but when Ubisoft made the shift last year it claimed that producing one ton of paper for its game manuals consumed 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.

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