The change started with the release of Fight Night Champion, which shipped only with a slip containing an online pass code (and a Crysis 2 ad on the flipside), along with small warranty pamphlet. A complete digital manual can be found on the game disc by selecting "Manual" from the game's main menu.
"Thank you for supporting our efforts to significantly reduce paper in our products," the pamphlet reads.
Considering how flimsy EA's instructions manuals have been for years, this probably won't impact consumers all that much. Of course, folks who yearn for the days of old and those thick, full-color instruction manuals (first-party Nintendo games were always tops back in the day), this is a sad sign. However, the trade off -- reduced waste -- seems worth it.
But really, when was the last time you actually read an instruction manual anyhow?