I truly feel sorry for whatever social media manager is running any channels associated with Remedy’s Control today, as the situation with the game’s free next-gen upgrade has gotten a bit stickier after publisher 505 Games seemingly did the thing it claimed it couldn’t: upgraded people to the game’s Ultimate Edition for free, only to revoke it.
News of this started springing up on Resetera. A handful of users who owned both the base game and its season pass (all of which make up the contents in the Ultimate Edition that launched yesterday) noted that they were able to freely download this specific edition of the game, which means it was recognized as something they owned on digital storefronts like PlayStation Network. This is notable, because this was the exact thing 505 Games said wasn’t possible when asked if people with access to the same content through different purchasing methods would be able to freely upgrade to the next-gen version in a similar vein to games like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077. After the announcement that only those with Control: Ultimate Edition would be allowed to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S versions was met with backlash, 505 Games said that because the standard edition and the Ultimate Edition are technically two different SKUs, it could only recognize one when it came to letting people get free access to the game on next-gen systems. But based on these accounts, it seems that’s not true, and that (at least) PlayStation Network can recognize when someone owns the same content, regardless of whether or not it’s under the Ultimate Edition package. The right switches just have to flipped, it seems.
As of this writing, the Ultimate Edition is no longer available to people who haven’t paid for it specifically, as confirmed by users who previously were able to download the SKU earlier in the day.
In other news:
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- Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Gets Earlier Release Date to Match New Xbox’s Launch
While the original reasoning was suspect and seemed flimsy at best, I can’t say I would have predicted 505 Games to play itself like this and reveal just how insincere its explanation was by doing the thing it said it could not do. Ultimately, I would be surprised if being exposed changes anything, as they were quick to put those barriers back up when they realized they’d let them down.
Whatever ends up happening, Control’s especially specific upgrade plan is a bit of an anomaly as we head into the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5’s launches in about two months. Most games that are launching on both current-gen and next-gen platforms have fairly simple upgrade systems, which basically boil down to “if you own it on one system, you own it on both,” whether that be digitally or with a physical copy.