Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Capcom Debuts New Game "Feature", Gets Flamed

Mercenaries about to assault Capcom's PR folks.
Capcom has been having some interesting moments in the press over the last few months, like the flap over young kids racking up hundreds or thousands of dollars in smurfberry charges on the parental credit cards. Now they've chosen a new direction for experimentation, one that's already gained them no small amount of bad press.

Capcom has released a game for the Nintendo 3DS called, adroitly enough, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. Essentially it's a collection of minigames from previous Resident Evil games, crammed into a 3DS cartridge and hoping that users would pay $40 for something that doesn't really resemble the Resident Evil brand. Ah, but it's not entirely a retread, since Capcom added a significant new feature: It's impossible to reset the save game data. In other words, once you use the game it maintains your save files forever and you can't change that.

What good is this feature? Well, Capcom says it's because they are trying to keep all the content unlocked and available once you unlock it. (Which I really don't understand, and I'm not alone in this.) Conspiracy theorists, who seem to be in the majority on Capcom's message boards, believe that Capcom is attempting to destroy the resale value of the game to prevent used game sales from eating into their profits. In support of this theory is the fact that Gamestop halted used game sales of this title... but they've since started that up again.

The whole thing seems odd to me. Why leave out the ability to reset the save games, which is a standard feature in most games? The only reason that makes any sense to me is an attempt to stop game resale. Really, it's just annoying. Especially when the game is no great work of art to begin with. But Capcom says no matter, they won't do it again. Doesn't this undercut the argument that the feature lack had a good reason?

Yo can read the official version here, along with some of the responses.

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