In a move that will strike horror into the aged games collector but most likely mean very little to younger games fans, publisher Ubisoft has announced that it is to ditch paper instruction manuals for its Xbox 360 and PS3 games from this autumn.
The fingering of a game manual is one of the key rituals of buying a new title for some core gamers. Indeed, highly produced examples such as the manual found in the UK version of EA’s We Love Katamari or any GTA are collector’s pieces in their own right.
However, these are changing times. The first game to shun manuals will be Shaun White Skateboarding this autumn. Instead, future releases will include an in-game digital manual.
“Ubisoft is often recognised for making great games, but it's a special privilege to be the industry leader at saving trees,” Ubisoft’s North American president Laurent Detoc told Kotaku.
“Eco-friendly initiatives are important to the global community and introducing in-game digital manuals on Xbox 360 and PS3 is just the latest example of Ubisoft's ongoing commitment to being a more environmentally conscious company.”
The company adds that two tons of wood from 13 trees are needed to produce one ton of manual paper, using 28bn BTUs or energy and creating 6,000 lbs of CO2 and 15,000 gallons of wastewater.
Future releases will also be made with environmentally DVD cases from Technimark that are manufactured using 100 per cent recycled polypropylene.