DRM use by game manufacturers is old news. Every so often, a software company thinks it's got something "nigh invulnerable" (+30 Geek points to whoever recognizes that reference), only to find its latest piece of copy protection hacked and discarded along the virtual superhighway faster than you can say "stoptreatingyourcustomerslikethieves." Lately though, the game companies seem nearly as distraught by used game sales, which bypass their pocketbooks completely. Consequently, they've shifted their efforts towards making second-hand users feel like the last kid in line for family hand-me-downs by giving them the tattered remnants of the latest game in exchange for their second-hand money.
Capcom, however, has trumped everyone with its latest DRM, scheduled to debut on the Nintendo's 3DS. "Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D," along with being a mouthful-and-a-half to say, will feature this crippling new "feature":
You only get one save file.
It can never be overwritten.
In other words, if you decide you'd like to start your game over and replay the whole zombie shooting match from the get-go, too bad. You only get one shot. How's that for sticking it to the second-hand market? If you, being the good non-pirating customer that you are, go and plunk down your $40 for this game, you would kind of expect to do things that you could do with all the other games you've spent money on. Like have multiple save files. Or a chance to start over.
Instead, Capcom is going to give you a piece of software with all the save features of the original Nintendo and possibly even less. Let's say you happen to have friends/family members who'd like to play the game. (I know: gamer
sz. But some of them still socialize/co-habitate.) Too bad. Those free-loading bastards you used to call friends and family will just have to open up their wallets and buy their own damn copy if they want to experience the game for themselves, rather than "enjoy" it vicariously through your save file.
You're twice as screwed if you decide to save a few bucks and pick this up at Upsell Boutique or GameReserveYourCopy or wherever. You're starting wherever the previously unimpressed gamer left off. And if they finished the game, well... then I guess you get to watch the end credits and try to determine which of the scrolling names deserves the full blast of your rage.
And Capcom's already has its "out" for when the angry gamers come calling. "Why, we printed it right there in the manual! That's hardly hidden and/or underhanded!" The manual? You mean that worthless little booklet that had no importance until I tried to resell RE:TM3D down at the local GameUpsellBoutique? That thing? Who even reads those? More importantly, why is the clerk at the trade-in counter giving me a pro-rated payout based on completion percentage? What the hell?
Oh, Capcom. You've built yourself a very slippery slope with this move. You care so much about the potential loss of income from secondhand sales that you've completely removed yourselves from reality. I have a feeling there's some nasty backlash in your future, and I fully expect to enjoy every second of it.