Let the rant begin…
Control is a very fun and unique action-adventure game that I feel no console of PC gamer should miss. Given the fact that the game was developed by Remedy Entertainment, the company behind games such as Max Payne and Alan Wake, a pretty decent amount of fans decided to check out the new game when it launched on August 27, 2019.
So for the first anniversary of the game’s release, 505 Games announced that Control: Ultimate Edition would be released on PC as well as current and next-gen consoles. This edition of Control is exactly what you would expect which is the full game and all of the post-release content for the lower price of $39.99. Naturally, we all wanted to know if there would be a next-gen upgrade for Control since the ultimate edition is coming to PS5 and XSX. It’s crazy that we are living in a time where such a consumer-friendly option even exists. Multiple game companies have already announced that many current-gen titles would get a free next-gen upgrade so that consumers won’t have to pay for the same game twice. This is also true with Control but with a slight catch. Only players that purchase the ultimate edition will get the free next-gen upgrade. So if you have already bought Control for the PS4, you will have to buy it again in order to play it on PlayStation 5.
Now for me personally this won’t be a major issue. I own Control (9not any of it’s DLC) but I was given a review copy* so I didn’t have to pay for it. So, If I decided to buy the ultimate edition, there would be no real loss in it for me. However, nearly every other Control owner has paid $59.99 for the standard game and up to $79.99 for the different editions of the game.
Now look, game development is a job, a business, and the purpose of any business is to make money. Trust me I get it. I also understand those game companies who are being consumer-friendly don’t even have to offer next-gen upgrades to their current-gen games. In fact, I am actually terrified of what they have planned for us. I mean when you think about it, it hasn’t been a standard practice of the video game industry in recent years to be this generous to its customer base. I fear ULTRA-transactions might be incoming. At any rate, I can understand the reasoning behind 505 Games needing to make money off new sales of Control with this new definitive edition. However, it seems that this should be at the very least limited to those who only have the base version of the game. Anyone who has purchased the game plus the Season Pass, the DLC ala carte, or any form of special edition should be entitled to the upgrade. According to 505 Games themselves, this is what you get with the ultimate edition:
Control Ultimate Edition includes:
• 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.
Now is this not what deluxe edition and season pass owners already have? Their version of the game should get a new thumbnail and title via update and transition to the ultimate edition. On top of that, players that own the base game only should be given the option to upgrade their game to the ultimate edition at a reduced cost and then be given the next-gen upgrade. That way there is still some money exchanged between 505 and standard edition owners. The only people that should be paying 40 bucks are players that have not yet picked up Control or those who may have traded it in and want to get in on the DLC and the next-gen upgrade.
The fine folks at 505 Games did issue an “explanation” to Control fans that have expressed outrage since the initial announcement. Here is what they had to say via their official blog:
Last week, alongside information about the upcoming AWE expansion for Control, we also released information about Control Ultimate Edition – a Control package featuring The Foundation and AWE expansions, coming to current and next-gen consoles, as well as PC.
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.
Will I be able to purchase the Control base game on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, without the additional content?
No. The only version of Control available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will be Control Ultimate Edition.
However, if you have the Control base game, the Expansion Packs, or the Season Pass on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One in your collection, you will still be able to play 100% of your game and enjoy an enhanced experience through backwards compatibility.
Does this mean the Season Pass won’t be available to purchase separately on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X?
Correct. All content featured will be available as part of Control Ultimate Edition. The original base game, Expansion Packs and Season Pass will not be sold separately on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.
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.
Is Control backwards compatible with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X?
Absolutely! Owners of the original edition of Control on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can enjoy backwards compatibility when next-gen systems launch.
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.
This response did little to quell the outrage that many existing Control owners are feeling right now. It was stated that current owners of the game will be able to play an “enhanced” version of the PS4 game on the PS5 (or Xbox to XSX if that’s your thing) but exactly what the hell does that mean. What did they enhance in the current game that is different from what they are offering in the PS5 edition? I find it hard to believe that the PS5 version is being rebuilt from the ground up since the ultimate edition is also on current-gen so what’s the real deal? In their explanation, 505 Games stated: “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”. What are these “blockers” exactly? I suspect someone at the top subscribed to more OnlyFans accounts than they could handle and now needs the money to pay off the debt.
Seriously, there needs to be a system in place where 505 Games/Remedy Entertainment can do right by their fanbase. The PS4/PS4 Pro version of Control was a technical nightmare at launch. Even with all of the updates that have come out since the game was released, things are still not quite 100%. Asking players, especially those that purchased the season pass or deluxe editions, to fork over an additional $40 is bullshit of Bethesdian proportions. It stings even more when a select group players will get a free upgrade while those who have truly financially supported the game and the company itself are stuck holding the short end of the stick. It sends a message to their fanbase that they should not support their games at launch and wait to see what will be offered to them a couple of years down the road.
*I was given a review copy of Control by the publisher but not an early one. By the time I got mine, another editor already had the game and was well into it so he did the review instead of me.