Several months ago on PLuGHiTz Live! Radio we had a discussion about the future of used games in the industry. Several executives from some big game companies have called used game stores, such as GameStop, the reason why sales and profits are down. We have seen publishers come up with some ways to make gamers want to purchase new rather than used. Electronic Arts has a new process they are trying in Mass Effect 2.
In the past, EA has issued codes to unlock special weapons or other content available only once per code, and that code is only available in the box. This, of course, means that someone purchasing a used game will not have access to that same content that the original purchaser had, assuming the original purchaser used the code. In Mass Effect 2, they will be trying out a one-time free access system to the "Cerberus Network," which is the in-game store which gives access to purchase DLC as well as the upcoming free DLC.
So, here is how it works - if you purchase the game new, you can use the store for free forever. If you sell or lend the game, however, the other player will have to pay $15 to access the same content. Being as the game will retail new for $60 and used for probably $45, the extra $15 makes it more likely that the gamer will purchase new, since it will end up being the same cost overall.