505 Games tried to explain why owners of the existing version of Control won’t be able to upgrade to the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions in a blog post today and didn’t succeed.
Last week, the publisher of Control announced a new version of the game called Control Ultimate Edition that would include the base game and both expansions for about $60. There was a hitch though: only that version of the game would get a free upgrade to a PS5 and Xbox Series X version of the game coming down the road. Anyone who had already bought the game would be out of luck.
Now 505 Games is back with a new blog post that tries to explain why that’s the case. “We spent several months exploring all of our launch options for Control Ultimate Edition and no decision was taken lightly,” the publisher wrote. “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.”
The post went on:
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.
I’m sure porting a recent game to next-gen isn’t a cake walk, and Control had its fair share of frame rate drops and some other issues on the base PS4 and Xbox One when it came out last year. At the same time, 505 Games doesn’t really shed any new light on what the trade-offs were in making this decision or how it ultimately landed on the current solution. Was there really no way to offer current owners of Control the option to upgrade to the Ultimate Edition, and thus the PS5 or Xbox Series X versions, by paying a nominal fee of $US10 ($14) instead of the full $US40 ($55)?
So far neither 505 Games nor developer Remedy Entertainment have responded to a request for comment.
The Control upgrade situation probably wouldn’t be getting so much attention if it didn’t appear like free next-gen upgrades were becoming the unspoken standard, even for somewhat older games. Doom Eternal and The Elder Scrolls Online will both be getting next-gen versions, Bethesda announced earlier this month, and they won’t cost players anything.
“To bring Control to next generation consoles in any form, we had to make some difficult decisions and those came in the form of creating the simplified Control Ultimate Edition product plan we have today,” 505 Games wrote in its post. “We are sorry we couldn’t meet everyone’s expectations and we hope you will continue to support Control.”
The one silver lining is that 505 Games continues to confirm PS5 and Xbox Series X will support backwards compatibility for Control at launch (neither console manufacturer has yet committed to complete backwards compatibility at launch). If nothing else, owners of the existing version of the game will at least get to take advantage of things like much faster load times.