Capcom's Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D for the Nintendo 3DS has a unique (and troubling, to some) "feature:" Saved games can not be erased. Ever. So no going back and starting fresh without saves. This could be the latest attempt by the game industry to put reins on the used game market; after all, what good is a used copy of a game if you are forced to play someone else's saves?
Capcom, though, says this is not the case. The company told GiantBomb: "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."
So, why was the feature put in? Here's the statement from Capcom:
"In Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, all mission progress is saved directly to the Nintendo 3DS cartridge, where it cannot be reset... 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." Which isn't much of an answer, honestly.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Capcom said that in the United Kingdom, "The game's value at second-hand... is not affected by whether or not the game can have its data reset."
As in any market-based economy, the value of a product is based on its supply and demand. As a game consumer, you are the demand. So let me ask you: Would you pay the same amount for a used copy of Mercenaries, if you knew you couldn't save your game?
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D comes out today.