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Manual Free Future?

As far as I can remember, video games have always been a part of my childhood. Other than playing the game itself, there’s nothing more satisfying than opening that fresh new NES game when I was 6 or 7 years old. I would immediately pop in the game to see what it looks like and then do what most kids would do, read the manual.

These days, it’s pretty easy to figure out how the game is usually played. If you pop in any 360 game, I can almost guarantee you that theres a tutorial game play before you start out your adventure. The manual sits inside the case unless it came off while opening it. Nowadays, it’s hardly ever used (thanks to the internet) and it’s almost as if its become rather useless over the years. But yet, when you bring your games to a store without a manual for trade or even if you sell the games on eBay, the value would be alot less compared to a complete copy.

The reason why I’m bringing this up is because back in late April of this year, Ubisoft announced that they will start ditching the manuals for their upcoming holiday lineup. Although there were no word as to whether they’ll start doing them on other platforms, it still made a pretty big impact in the industry. When game companies decided to use the eco box, you know those really thin almost-ready-to-crumble 360 cases with the recycle holes in the middle, pretty much everyone jumped in including Nintendo (late as usual I know – and another reason why I wrote this is because I saw the case for Metroid Other M which uses the eco friendly case). Kyle Sheppard of Viva Group (creator of the eco box) said that “Wal-Mart even introduced a packaging scorecard with certain criteria that must be met, including reducing all packaging by 5% by 2013.” Without the manual, it would be even lighter to produce and ship, saving both the manufacturing companies and the publishers some money. Even with all the cost cutting moves they make, they’ll still manage to sell the games at their full retail prices eventually leaving you with less and more for them..

Eventually, more companies will see that this manual-free games a smarter, more economical just like the eco box cases.

I’d like to ask the collecting community and our readers. Is it fair to do this?

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