Instead of dealing with extra fees and DLC to cut back used game sales, why don’t developers rent their games directly through Xbox Live or PSN+? You can already rent a movie from Xbox Live, why not a game? You could have it for a week and then it would expire, or you could re-rent.
This would be good for people who would rather rent once or people who are renting to try. You could even incorporate this with Digital Distribution and offer the game for purchase after the demo expires, assuming the consumer can get a decent price. Another thing developers could do would be discount the game by the amount you already paid to rent it. So if you rent it then buy it, you could treat the rental payment (or some of it) as money paid towards the game. Multiple rentals would work similarly, and if you rent the game X number times or so, then you have spent the equivalent of the new copy of the game, so it is treated that you bought the game. It’s the same amount of money, just at different times. This is a great time right now as rental places all around us are going out of business, and Game-fly still seems too pricey for most people. Rented games can take a huge chunk from game sales, so if instead the developers were getting that money directly (much like when a new game is sold), then their profits would rise. Then they wouldn’t feel the need to go to the extreme to combat used games sales with exclusive DLC and other gimmicks.
Fable III’s episodic content is another good strategy to combat used sales and buyer remorse, especially as the first episode is free. It lets gamers space their video game budget out, instead of dropping $60 for a new game at once. Even paying $10 payments would seem easier than buying the $40 used copy. This system is a lot like renting, as long as the sum of all the episodes is the cost of the game as a whole. As long as they draw the line between Episodic content/Rental Distribution and in-game purchasing (“nickel and dime”-ing the gamers for all content), I think this style of distribution could work well.