I acquired FIFA 2013 over the weekend. I haven’t payed it much and part of the reason why is that the game doesn’t come with a manual or instructions guide. It seems games are moving to online distribution of manuals. So now I have a computer set up while I play, print them out myself, or just flail around until I figure something out. This is done, at least on the surface, to go green and save paper. Of course the truth is that printing manuals lowers the profit margin. I personally think this is a horrible way to treat customers. You know, if I am going to go to the expense to buy a NEW copy of the game on physical media, at least spend a few cents and tell me how to play the damn thing!
Of course I understand that as game distribution evolves and shifts to digital only distribution, the printed manual must disappear. It isn’t the loss of the printed material that is so frustrating. What bothers me is that at full price these game are sixty bucks a piece and at that price I feel like the game makers could do a little more to help me understand the game. This particular game just tosses you into the fray. No up front tutorial or anything. Some games do a great job with introductory tutorials but FIFA 2013 has the attitude of: “Hey! Congratulations on buying the best selling soccer game on the planet. Don’t know how to play? Sucks for you! Enjoy!” Kind of harsh right? At least show me the basic controls when I boot up the game or something?
Thus ends the Grumpy Old Gamer show. Tune in next week when for the article “What’s with all these damn buttons on my controller?”