A couple of weeks back I noticed many (all) the sites I frequent were talking about Capcom implementing a permenant save data in Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. “Oh look it’s Capcom with their money hungry antics again” I thought (see Marvel vs Capcom 3). However, it appears that Konami are in on the act as well with Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D along with Aksys and SEGA. I never buy Pro Evo used but I know many people that pick up second hand copies a few months after the annual releases, it boggles the mind as to why publishers think this is a good idea.
On paper, it makes sense for maximum profits but I’m sure they did not realise how much of a big market the second-hand business is. For example, Blockbuster with their game rentals, GAME/Gamestation with their preowned selection and not to mention the thousands of people on eBay (despite whatever % they’re left with after eBay and Paypal suck up the final price fees with). A problem I figured out straight away was the fact that the moment you step into a GAME store, you’ll see most of the customers trawling through the pre-owned shelves. The Top 10 games rarely get a glance except for when the sales assistant is ‘advising’ mums on what to buy their kids. It’s no wonder these stores will reject any pre-owned copies.
I’m sure these publishers will realised their mistake (Capcom already have) and ditch this silly way of trying to blow away the second-hand market. If anything it doesn’t even hurt that market as much as the people who pre-order or buy a fresh new game.
On the customer-lead solution side, I already read somewhere about a save dumper which can wipe off the save data. Whether it works, I don’t know but if flashcarts follow that while these sort of games are being released in the market, I won’t be surprised. Does this rank as low as Digital Rights Management, in my opinion, probably not but similarities can be drawn not to mention the rage reviews that pop up everywhere for those games involved.