When word first broke that Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D would include a permanent save system (i.e. unlocked content stays unlocked) the general assumption was Capcom was planning to take DRM to new extremes, or lining up a debilitating headshot against secondary sales. In response to these conspiracy theories, Capcom recently took to its forums to convince fans the perma-save feature is not a middle finger to consumers and used game outlets, but rather a way of enhancing the arcade feel of its game.
“There was no intention of lessening the experience of the game,” explains Shawn 'Snow' Baxter, Capcom's community specialist, in a post to the company's forums. "Essentially, RE Mercs was treated like an arcade fighting game. You unlock characters, levels, etc and they just stay unlocked as they would in an arcade machine. There was no hidden motive to prevent buying used copies. It's not some secret form of DRM. It's simply the way we designed the save system to work with the arcade type of gameplay.”
Baxter further emphasized RE: Mercenaries 3D is a non-linear game in which the focus is not on progressing from level to level, but replaying missions to achieve a greater score. As such, all of the game's content is available all the time, so it makes no difference when and where someone decides to save their progress. And, as an added benefit to second-hand users, Baxter explained: “Anyone purchasing a copy of the game secondhand would have access to all the missions and skills that the original owner unlocked, in addition to the content that was available to the original user.”
Suddenly, Capcom's perma-save decision sounds less nefarious and more...missing the point. After all, there are plenty of players who enjoy starting from scratch; purists who like earning their rewards and measuring their progress not solely by score, but by how much new content they've unlocked themselves. If this weren't the case, and Capcom didn't think that aspect was important to players, why would it bother locking down the content in the first place? Point being: if this really isn't about limiting used sales, then what's the harm in giving owners a choice in the matter?
Jun 30, 2011
Resident Evil 3D: EB Games Australia boycotts game due to permanent saves
Zombie-shooter pulled from shelves over resale-crippling cartridge design
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Fast, fun and fleeting