May 28, 2022

505 Games & the “Control Ultimate Upgrade” Problem

505 Games has made a lot of people unhappy with the recent Control Ultimate Edition announcement. You’ll need to purchase this new game to play it on next-gen consoles; There’s no upgrade for base-game players

Recently, 505 Games made a controversial announcement regarding the incredible Control; players will not receive a free upgrade to next gen consoles.

This goes against a widening norm in the industry that has seen several big name publishers make the opposing announcing.

Basically, to catch everyone up to speed, many games will be available to “upgrade” to next-gen at no additional cost. It’s been something that Microsoft, CD Projekt RED, Ubisoft, and more besides have been touting about.

Instead of allowing players to upgrade, a new “Ultimate Edition” of Control will be available, instead. Within the Ultimate Edition announcement page, 505 notes;

Will Control Ultimate Edition give me access to Control on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5?
We will offer a free next-gen digital upgrade for those who buy Control Ultimate Edition on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more information on eligibility, stay tuned to our website and community channels.
What if I purchased the original version of Control previously?
The free upgrade path to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 version of Control is only available for Control Ultimate Edition“.

Yes, you read that right; a free copy of the game is available to anyone who purchases the Ultimate Edition. Which will cost $39.99/£34.99/€39.99. Admittedly, for that price, you are getting access to the following;

  • Control base game
  • The Foundation (Expansion 1)
  • AWE (Expansion 2)
  • The Expeditions end game mode, Photo Mode and all the content updates since the release of the original game.

But still.

So, why has 505 taken the opposite approach?

Well, in a recent blog post detailing the controversial move, 505 noted;

“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; 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”.

It’s frustrating for fans as it goes against the new grain. Control has been a critically-acclaimed success story in the past 12 months.

This may be a useful announcement for people who have yet to buy Control. However, for the veteran players, it’s a stab in the back. In order to play an enhanced copy of the game, they must fork out twice for what surmounts to the same product.

The Ultimate Edition does not offer any additional content to what Season Pass holders will have access to. To further iterate this, 505 noted;

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”.

Frustratingly, 505 has confirmed that Control will run on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X via Backwards Compatibility. Which further begs the question; why the need for an Ultimate Edition in the first place? If the game can and will play on next-gen consoles, why the need to sell a new edition to players?

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For all the accolades that 505 garnered with Control, they seem intent on milking it dry now. Which is a sad thing as the company is ultimately screwing over the one demographic it shouldn’t be; the people who already bought the game and all it’s add-ons.

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