505 Explains It Had to Decide Who to Exclude With Control’s Next-Gen Upgrade Restrictions

There were "blockers" in the way of a universal upgrade plan.

After the studio announced that Control’s next-gen upgrade would be limited to people who buy the game’s “Ultimate Edition,” Remedy and 505 Games have responded to backlash regarding the exclusion of fans who bought the original version of the game in this deal.

Through a post on the game’s official website, 505 Games explained that there were multiple attempts to get Control some kind of upgrade that would allow fans who bought the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to get free copies of the game on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, but as the game has two SKUs between the standard edition and the Ultimate Edition, there were always “blockers” in the way of making the next-gen upgrade plan available to all of Control’s players. The publisher didn’t really get into specifics, but basically said that its hands were tied and it had to make a decision on which player base it would have to exclude, and it went with the ones who haven’t bought a copy of the game lately.

We spent several months exploring all of our launch options for Control Ultimate Edition and no decision was taken lightly. While it is challenging bringing any game to next gen platforms, we quickly realised it was even more difficult to upgrade our current user base to next gen with full parity across platforms with our year-old game.

Every avenue we pursued, there was some form of blocker and those blockers meant that at least one group of players ended up being left out of the upgrade for various reasons. As of today, we can’t offer an upgrade to everyone, and leaving any one group out feels unfair. We understand that is not what you want to hear.”

Frustratingly enough, this will also extend to people who have purchased both the original game and all the additional content that comes with the Ultimate Edition, whether by individual purchases or by paying for the season pass, simply because they went a different way about acquiring what is, by that point, the same game and content. 505 Games acknowledges this line of thinking in its Q&A, but then proceeds to say a whole lot of nothing when it’s brought up:

I own the Control base game and Season Pass. Is this not the same as Control Ultimate Edition?
The objective of Control Ultimate Edition was not to release new exclusive content on the next gen platforms, but to offer the full Control gameplay experience to new Control players in a single, easy-to-find product. The PlayStation 5/Xbox Series X versions of Control contain the same content as the current gen game, though they do take full advantage of the power and features provided by these new consoles.

The upgrade path that we are offering is only possible when upgrading from the same version of the game. As we are only doing additional development on Control Ultimate Edition on the next gen platforms, we are unfortunately unable to offer an upgrade path to all existing Control players. We understand how this might upset a number of players but you will still be able to play the 2019 edition of Control and each Expansion on the new platforms.”

In other news:

Ultimately, the post ends by pointing out that the standard version of Control is backwards compatible on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, basically saying “you can still play the game on the new device, it just won’t come with any of the technological enhancements seen in the actual native next-gen version you can’t upgrade to for free.”

Despite Control’s mishandling of the situation, next-gen upgrades are pretty commonplace right now as we head into these upcoming console launches. Microsoft has even made it a bullet point on the Xbox Series X’s marketing, with plans to implement a new feature called “Smart Delivery” that will allow you to buy one version of applicable games on Xbox One and play the next-gen version for free if you upgrade to the Xbox Series X.