Nintendo 3DS Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D Does Not Allow Save File Resets in an Effort to Curb Used Game Sales
The above is a screenshot of the U.S. manual for Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D on the Nintendo 3DS. The bit at the bottom regarding save files means players cannot delete older save files, and considering the game only has one save slot, it means no one can ever create a completely fresh game, barring some kind of future update which frees up some slots, whether it be officially implemented by Capcom, or unofficially implemented by 3DS hackers. Why in the world would Capcom implement something like this in a game when one can only assume they want to reach the largest possible audience? To curb used game sales, of course!
Just when we thought the attempted curbing of used game sales couldn’t get any worse when developers began implemented single-use codes that unlock online functionality for used games, Capcom is now testing out something much more horrifying: By only allowing one save file that cannot be reset, people won’t ever be able to make their own progress in a game after the original player begins his or her save file. The move is extremely clever on Capcom’s part, in that it’ll probably be the most effective strategy to prevent used game sales implemented to date, but the move is also ridiculously shortsighted — not only has it already enraged gamers by not allowing them to create multiple saves on their own legally purchased software, but if Capcom wasn’t going to get money from gamers who were only going to buy the game used to begin with, then enraging these gamers won’t exactly make them decide to purchase the game new, and Capcom probably won’t see much of a change in sales.
One would assume Capcom wouldn’t want to enrage their audience and would rather their game reach as large of an audience as possible, but to be fair, they wouldn’t be a successful, household name amongst gamers if they were stupid, and they might know exactly what they’re doing.
I personally don’t have the game, but various gamers are reporting that the game is more of a score attack mode rather than a fully fleshed out story, so multiple saves aren’t entirely necessary, though there are unlockables, so a used games purchaser wouldn’t be able to make progress with his or her own unlockables.
The Nintendo 3DS install base isn’t particularly large currently, only having hit one million sales in Japan a few weeks ago — a pace much slower than its predecessors, the Nintendo DS Lite and DSi — so the smaller install base for the game may not be large enough to negatively affect Capcom in a disastrous way, and could be the exact reason why they’re testing out this new strategy. Although, negative press is negative press, and the gaming world rarely forgives and never forgets, so only time (and sales figures) will tell if the strategy works, or completely backfires.
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