Ubisoft Doing Away with Printed Manuals

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Under the guise of new "environmental initiative," publisher Ubisoft today announced that it will begin replacing the traditional printed paper instruction manuals included in its PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases with digital in-game manuals later this year.

Explained the company:

Ubisoft's digital game manuals will provide multiple benefits for the player and the environment. Including the game manual directly in the game will offer the player easier and more intuitive access to game information, as well as allow Ubisoft to provide gamers with a more robust manual. Ubisoft internal data shows that producing one ton of paper used in Ubisoft's game manuals consumes an average of two tons of wood from 13 trees, with a net energy of 28 million BTU's (equivalent to average heating and energy for one home/year), greenhouse gases equivalent of over 6,000 lbs of CO2, and wastewater of almost 15,000 gallons.

Shaun White Skateboarding, due out this fall, will mark the first of Ubisoft's PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases to take advantage of the new digital manual initiative.

As for PC, the company behind such games as Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed says it has "featured digital game manuals in its PC titles distributed in North America since March 2010" and will us Technimark's "environmentally-responsible DVD case" for all PC titles in North America beginning with Splinter Cell: Conviction PC on April 27.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 19, 2010 11:09 AM

    While this is obviously a cost saving initiative and not a "green" one, the environmental benefits are pretty decent and I'm not going to complain.

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      April 19, 2010 11:13 AM

      The ends certainly justifies the means! How about abolishing actual physical copies of games? How about a DRM that doesn't blow?

      Need to focus their attention now that they've saved some $$$ :)

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      April 19, 2010 11:14 AM

      Yeah, and I don't even look at printed manuals anymore. I'd almost prefer digital if I really need to hit the manual, that way I know I won't lose it.

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      April 19, 2010 11:14 AM

      I remember when you bought a game and you got a nice big box with artwork and a full colour manual. Now for more money you get a generic plastic case, a DVD, a single piece of A5 glossy paper. I didn't even think they did game manuals.

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      April 19, 2010 11:14 AM

      It is both but now a days most people don't read manuals. I never look at a gaming manual except for the product key. I'm smart enough to figure out what button is jump lol. The company I work for did this as well but sadly I would rather them put manuals with our electronics as our users aren't so bright.

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        April 19, 2010 11:16 AM

        They have stuff like crappy in-game tutorials now. I much prefer poring over the manual.

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          April 19, 2010 11:53 AM

          Even the shitty manuals nowdays? I don't see the point.

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      April 19, 2010 11:17 AM

      I stopped reading the "manuals" because these days you can hardly call them that. You get one crappy piece of paper with black and white printing, if at all. I remember some retail games I bought last year that didn't have a manual at all.

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      April 19, 2010 11:20 AM

      I actually do like having the manual close by for some games but I cannot disagree with this, especially since I am a big supporter of digital distribution. It would be nice if it came with a cost savings to consumers though.

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      April 19, 2010 12:30 PM

      Environmental benefits? Like what?

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        April 19, 2010 11:20 PM

        You know... the benefits of printing out your own and using A4 sheets of paper instead of the tiny manuals they provide us with anyway. Not to mention our ink or toner consumption.
        It's SO much better for the environment.

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          April 20, 2010 1:24 AM

          [deleted]

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            April 20, 2010 3:09 AM

            I generally do read most of the manuals, unless they are only a couple pages and have nothing about back story, moves lists, character histories, maps, charts, etc.

            But I wouldn't say I read through all the credits... sometimes I may read through the voice actors to see if there are any names that are familiar. Like how Michelle Rodriguez voiced one of the Marines in Halo 2, or how Eliza Dushku was the voice of Shaundi in Saints Row 2. It's interesting stuff.

            But I must admit, I am a sucker for art work and back story. There's nothing quite like having something tangible to look at and read.

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          April 20, 2010 7:35 AM

          I fail to see how the 'benefits of printing out your own' is an environmental benefit.

          Nor do I see how it matters whose toner is being used.

          I'm still not seeing the 'benefit'.

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      April 19, 2010 12:41 PM

      To read the digital manual, you have to turn on your PC and open it. Now this is about 5 minutes, imagine how much electricity and oil was burned to produce all that power. I call this is bullshit.

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        April 19, 2010 6:10 PM

        People forget all about carbon footprints! Drives me nuts when people leave their computers on all night. And we wonder why we have an energy shortage?

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