French publisher Ubisoft said Monday that it will be taking an environmentally conscious approach with its video game packaging by cutting back on paper usage for future game releases.
The Splinter Cell house said that Ubisoft's video games for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will soon have instruction manuals included digitally on the game disc instead of having traditional paper manuals in the box. The new initiative will begin holiday 2010's release of Shaun White Skateboarding.
Ubisoft said that not only will the digital manuals cut back on energy and lumber use required by paper manuals, but on-disc manuals are better for gamers. "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," said a statement from the publisher.
Ubisoft added, "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."
Ubisoft PC games will also see more environmentally-friendly packaging, the company said. In a partnership with Technimark, Inc., beginning with the PC version of Splinter Cell Conviction on April 27, Ubisoft will release PC games in DVD cases made of 100 percent-recycled polypropylene. The company's PC games have included digital manuals since March this year.