Control Publisher Offers Unsatisfying Explanation For Next-Gen Upgrade Approach

Owners of Control and its Season Pass are unlikely to feel appeased by 505 Games' vague statement.

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Publisher 505 Games has offered an additional explanation for Control's next-gen upgrade policy. Last week, developer Remedy Entertainment came under fire after announcing that those who already own the base game and all of its expansions will not receive a free upgrade to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game.

A new Ultimate Edition package launches on Steam on August 27, followed by releases on the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 10. This new package includes Control and its two expansions: The Foundation (which launched earlier this year), and AWE, which launches on August 27 and sees the return of Alan Wake. This accounts for everything you can currently own by purchasing the base game and its Season Pass. However, buying this new version of the game is the only way to attain a free upgrade to the Ultimate Edition when it launches on PS5 and Xbox Series X a few months later.

There was a predictable backlash to this announcement from those who already own Control and both of its expansions, especially when dozens of other publishers are offering free next-gen upgrades without any additional steps.

505 Games has now responded with an unsatisfying explanation for its decision.

"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," the publisher said in a statement on its website.

"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."

Despite the backlash, 505 isn't changing its controversial policy. The publisher also points out that if you own Control and its expansions on PS4 or Xbox One, you can still play them on PS5 and Xbox Series X via backwards compatibility. 505 says that this will get you an "enhanced experience," but doesn't explain what exactly this entails. Either way, the only version of Control available on PS5 and Xbox Series X will be the new Ultimate Edition.

If you already own Control and the Season Pass, you're probably wondering how this differs from the Ultimate Edition considering it's packaged with the same exact content. 505 has an explanation for this, too.

"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."

This vague reasoning is unlikely to appease anyone upset by the publisher's decision. The statement concludes with an apology, however, acknowledging that some will still be upset.

"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.

"That we took a while in responding does not mean we have not been listening. We are sorry we couldn’t meet everyone's expectations and we hope you will continue to support Control. We thank you for your support thus far."

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