In context: Last week, 505 Games announced the Control Ultimate Edition bundle. It's a $40 package consisting of the game, all DLC, and a free upgrade to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions. Purchasers of the original game were a bit miffed at being left out. 505 heard the backlash and decided to clear the air a bit.
In a Thursday morning blog post, 505 Games explained it did not take the decision to exclude original Control purchasers from the next-gen upgrade lightly. Without going into much detail, 505 said that it looked at several avenues for the release, and none were optimal.
"While it is challenging bringing any game to next-gen platforms, we quickly realized 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. "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."
It said that it recognizes that leaving anybody out "feels unfair," but it is only working on Control Ultimate Edition on next-gen platforms. That is to say that the PS4, XB1, PS5, and XBSX bundles are all a part of the same next-gen workflow. The original game is not a part of that, so 505 is not offering an upgrade path to those users.
The good news is that there was some confusion about where this left earlier adopters who want to play on next-gen systems. Having to repurchase the game would certainly seem like an insult. However, we already know both the PS5 and the XBSX are going to play most current-generation games. While Sony is still working on a list of confirmed backward compatible titles, 505 Games assures us that the original Control is on that list. Owners can still play it in BC mode and will only miss out on the updated graphical tweaks.
Look at it this way, 505 Games could have just postponed the next-gen version for a couple of years and then release it as a reboot or remaster, as many game makers have traditionally done. For example, how many players do you think paid $60 for Skyrim more than once? At least, some developers, including 505 Games, are offering some upgrades gratis, which is a lot considering both new consoles feature backward compatibility.