After yesterday's kerfuffle regarding Capcom's decision to prevent players from deleting save data progress on Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D for the Nintendo 3DS, the company has issued a statement explaining its position. As it turns out, crushing the used game market isn't mentioned at all. Giant Bomb has Capcom's stance on the issue:
"Secondhand game sales were not a factor in this development decision," said the company, "so we hope that all our consumers will be able to enjoy the entirety of the survival-action experiences that the game does offer."
If used games aren't the issue, what is? Is there a technical reason that's preventing them from including data reset? That part's not totally clear, but here's what Capcom said.
"In Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, all mission progress is saved directly to the Nintendo 3DS cartridge, where it cannot be reset," said the company. "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."
I still do not see what would be lost if players were allowed to delete their save data (short of additional sales and revenue for Capcom, of course). Playing a game like Mercenaries 3D is a personal experience, and if I choose to wipe the slate clean and start over, that should be my choice. I can't believe that Capcom would come right out and admit that this decision is related to the used game market, hence the amazing sidestepping of the issue in the above statement. Sure, content is not removed, but some of the experience is.
Meanwhile, after originally deciding not to buy back used copies of the game, video game retailer and reseller GameStop has reversed its position and will now allow Mercenaries 3D to storm the used game market after all. GamePro has that statement:
We contacted GameStop yesterday to find out if the company would be continuing to refuse trade-ins on the game. This is the official statement from the retailer:"GameStop did ask the US store base to stop accepting trades on Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D as we evaluated the save system for the game. Upon further review of the process with our publisher partner, Capcom, GameStop will resume taking trades on the game effective Wednesday, June 29 [today]. For more information regarding the game's save system, please contact Brian Keltner with Capcom at email@example.com."
There you have it, then. If you're planning on picking up a preowned copy of the game in the near future, bear in mind that you won't be able to start from scratch.
I'm curious to see how Mercenaries 3D performs in the used market. In Japan, the title sells used for as little as a mere $6. It's speculated that the unrestartable nature of the game is partially to blame for that amazingly deep discount. Will American players want to pay $35 for a used copy of a game with someone else's progress burned into it when a $40 pristine new copy is also available? Or will GameStop end up offering a fire sale of its own?