Well, it isn't an online pass but it's another incentive to purchase a game new rather than pre-owned.
During an interview with Eurogamer , id Software creative director Tim Willits confirmed that certain areas of RAGE would only be open to those who bought the game new. See, there are these sewer hatches scattered around the environment and you won't be able to jump in and explore if you got the game used. Basically, you'd have to pay for the privilege of checking 'em out. But Willits clarified:
"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 it's not like we're losing anything, but you can bet those who often buy games used will be a little miffed. We'll have to see the game before passing judgment but for now, those sewer hatches don't sound all that significant. It's not like they're cutting out whole landscapes, ya know?
Related Game(s): RAGE