When you open your brand-new copy of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D today, you may find something interesting in the manual. “Note: Saved data on this software cannot be reset,” you are warned. When you play the game and your progress is saved, there is no way to take it back. That is your game forever.
Let me explain why this is so infuriating if you’re unclear on just how hostile this is to gamers. Once you’ve beaten the game, you can’t erase your progress and start over. If you want to loan the game to a friend, they won’t be able to start their own game from the beginning. You may be able to trade the game into a store or sell it, but I wouldn’t suggest buying it from someone used, since you won’t be able to start from the beginning and unlock all the content yourself.
“Secondhand 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,” Capcom said in a statement given to Giant Bomb.
The inability to return to point zero after starting a game would kill its replay value for me and for many others. I like to try different strategies, check things out, see if I can ‘win’ fast or slow, etc.
But this thing, whose only real purpose seems to be to prevent anyone else from every replaying the game after one starts, will simply kill the game.
To these companies, resale is worse than piracy. I really think that these sorts of games – requiring large development teams and costing $50 or more – are dinosaurs and will quickly be overshadowed by small app economy companies. We are already seeing some of this disruption.