Bethesda will be the latest publisher to adopt the admittedly ingenious, if not slightly draconian system of setting aside specific content for purchasers of new copies of their games, starting with id Software's upcoming open-world shooter Rage. However, unlike other publishers who have actually excised typically accessible features (like, say, online multiplayer) for the sake of thwarting the hordes of used-game buying locusts running rampant over the retail landscape, id's offering doesn't sound like it's all that big of a deal.
Instead, we learn via an interview with id Software creative director Tim Willits over at Eurogamer that the sewer system, a network of underground tunnels filled with mutants and bonus loot (possibly mutant bonus loot as well--hard to say at this juncture) will only be freely accessible to those who buy a new copy. Any players with a used copy who want to traverse the dark, dangerous, and likely stinky tunnels may be out of luck. Unfortunately, he doesn't specify in the interview if the sewers can be accessed by used players if they pay extra later on, though it sounds as though they won't.
I played through a decent chunk of Rage not too long ago, and I happened upon a couple of the sewer tunnel entrances. At one point, a kindly old NPC told me that it was super dangerous to go down there, though if I did, I'd find all sorts of treasures that I might not otherwise find on the surface world. All I'd have to do is deal with a bunch of angry, bloodthirsty mutants. Essentially, this sounds like kind of a bonus area, where you go to find extra special loot while trying not to die in the process. Willits himself even made the sewer area sound like a relatively minor thing in the interview.
"Most people never even see it. I can tell you, some people will buy Rage, download that, and still never set foot in those things. They just won't. I think that's fair. It's cool. It's outside the main path. We're not detracting from anything. But I know some consumers, when you can't avoid it, then you get a little touchy subject."
So, there you go. If you're buying the game used, you probably don't even want this silly little trifle. Most people won't even bother with it. Therefore you should feel not at all burned by the fact that if you bought a used copy of Rage, you probably can't have this. If anything, you should feel pretty cool about it. You're being totally anti-conformist by not having those sewers accessible. It's actually pretty punk rock, if you think about it.
Though, actually, so is hanging out in sewers. Especially since it's off the beaten path, where all the totally conformist players will be spending most of their time, because they're like sheep who have to be told where to go and what to do. Not like you, though. You're a rebel, and if Tim Willits is telling you not to go into the sewers because you probably wouldn't want to anyway, you can just prove him wrong! He's not your dad! And if he was, you'd extra not listen to him!
Jeez. So you're punk rock if you do, and punk rock if you don't? That, uh...that's a real conundrum right there. Big time noodle-scratcher. Good luck with that!