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505 Games clumsily explains Control Ultimate Edition free next-gen upgrade

505 Games released a statement Friday explaining its position on next-gen upgrades for Control Ultimate Edition. In short, the publisher is sticking to its plan.

To briefly recap, it was announced last week that Control Ultimate Edition owners will get a free next-gen upgrade to PS5 and Xbox Series X. The Ultimate Edition – which comes out on September 10 for PS4 and Xbox One – includes the base game and two expansions (The Foundation and AWE). Owners of the original release from last year are ineligible for the free next-gen upgrade.

In a new statement published today, 505 Games says that it is only releasing Control Ultimate Edition on next-gen platforms, not the original base game. That is to say, PS5 and Xbox Series X will get the base game and the expansions.

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Here’s part of the new statement

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.

Understandably, there are still some questions about what this means for those that already own Control on current gen consoles and we hope to clear this up.

Let’s unpack this. Let’s assume for a second that you bought Control but didn’t buy the expansions. If the company upgrades you to next-gen consoles for free, they’d have to upgrade you to the Ultimate Edition for free since that’s the only release available on next-gen platforms. That means that you would also be getting the expansions for free.

However, if you did buy the base game and the expansions, 505 Games is basically saying you’re out of luck. Needless to say, that’s not a great way to reward loyal fans and early adopters of your product.

There is one silver lining, though. The base game is backward-compatible on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. You just won’t get next-gen improvements. The next-gen build “take[s] full advantage of the power and features” of PS5 and Xbox Series X, 505 says.

My Take

At this rate, it would have been easier to just let fans have the Ultimate Edition upgrade for free. That being said, their position on people who only own the base game makes sense, even if it wasn’t communicated very well. The people who are really missing out here are those who bought the base game and the expansions. They’re kind of getting screwed.

What do you think of 505 Games’ latest statement? Does it clarify their position? Do you still think they should offer a free next-gen upgrade for everyone?