Controversy over the upcoming 3DS instalment of the Resident Evil series has arisen this week, as it has come to light that save data in the game cannot be deleted.

Those players hoping to blast their way through Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and then sell it on second-hand will be in for a shock, since it's not possible to erase your in-game progress.

If you attempt to do so, the game cartridge simply reads: "Note: Saved data on this software cannot be reset".

This has caused an uproar among gamers online, with the majority under the impression that Capcom has purposely put this system forward in an attempt to stop trade-ins and, therefore, maximize sales.

However, in a statement to Gamasutra, a Capcom rep stated that it has absolutely nothing to do with second-hand sales.

"Second-hand 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," the rep said.

The plot thickens

Soon after, games retailer GameStop revealed that it would not be accepting trade-ins on Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D.

UK retailer HMV also said that it would not be accepting trade-ins, with HMV PR boss Gennaro Castaldo telling VG247 that it was to "avoid any potential customer disappointment for those purchasing a pre-owned version."

Retailer EB Games Australia went even further, with reports that it will not be selling the game at all, due to its seven-day return policy clashing with the revelation.

Backpedals

However, as of this morning, GameStop has now backtracked on its original statement, now telling IGN, "GameStop did ask the U.S. store base to stop accepting trades on Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D as we evaluated the save system for the game.

"Upon further review of the process with our publisher partner Capcom, GameStop will resume taking trades on the game effective Wednesday, June 29."

It's all a bit of a mess, and likely to see even more retailers refusing to take trade-ins on the title.

However, it's worth noting that, despite all this current hooha, this isn't the first Nintendo 3DS to deny gamers the ability to delete save data.

Monkeying around

Super Monkey Ball 3D also does not allow you to delete save data, so once you've opened up all the levels, there's no way to lock them up again.

The difference is that Sega failed to highlight this fact on either the game's cartridge or in the game manual, and elected not to mention it in the game itself.

There's no doubt that this is a cheap move by Capcom to maximise sales, but which is worse: letting gamers know about this 'function' or, as in Sega's case, not making any reference to it at all?