The saved game file on Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is permanent; forever branded to the game’s cartridge. This was discussed yesterday, and the game’s developer and publisher has issued a statement regarding the matter.
In speaking to Kotaku, a Capcom representative said: “The nature of the game invites high levels of replayability in order to improve mission scores. In addition, this feature does not remove any content available for users. Second-hand game sales were not a factor in this development decision, so we hope that all our consumers will be able to enjoy the entirety of the survival-action experiences that the game does offer.”
However, Destructoid’s Jim Sterling contacted Capcom and asked them directly whether their decision was one to combat second-hand sales; they didn’t answer his question and their discussion stopped straight away. The plot thickens.
Retailers are decidedly unimpressed by this as it wipes out any potential second-hand sales. There are reports that GameStop stores are refusing to accept second-hand copies, and Australia’s EB Games stores are reportedly recalling the game and refusing to stock it any further.
On top of it all, consumers are irate in response to Capcom’s move. Many are seeing this as another means of removing control from the customer. Others are worried that this will set a precedent for future Nintendo 3DS releases. If it does, then expect the PlayStation Vita games to follow suit as they too store saved game files on the actual game disk. The game has been subjected to an Amazon Bombing, wherein users deliberately destroy the product’s star-rating and write scathing reviews in order to voice their protest.
Jim Sterling has written a good article on the matter and has voiced his decision to skip purchasing the game. The article makes a good defense for the second-hand game market and touches on the long-term ramifications that Capcom’s decision might have, such as enticing certain groups of gamers to double their efforts in hacking Nintendo’s latest toy.
Capcom maintains that their decision to lock game progression permanently on the cartridge has nothing to do with the second-hand game sales, but honestly, what other reason is there? I’m battling to see one.