505 Games made a bit of a stink when they announced Control: Ultimate Edition and that this version of the game would be the only one to have an upgrade path from PS4 and Xbox One to PS5 and Xbox Series X | S.
However, over the weekend, a number of users discovered that the PlayStation Store was showing the Ultimate Edition, despite only having purchased the Digital Deluxe Edition. This has been rectified since, but it’s obviously thrown a bit of fuel on the smouldering embers of discontent about this.
Resetera user Hitokiri03 was the first to spot this:
So….Control Ultimate Edition just came out on PSN and it says that I own it.
I bought the Deluxe Edition but I wonder if you had the game + the season pass automatically you own the ultimate edition like most games on PSN.
Did they change their mind or they forgot to tell Sony about their plans?
Can someone verify this on Xbox too?
This was then backed up by several other users, until the store page was modified in some way to separate Control: Ultimate Edition from the Digital Deluxe Edition. It’s likely that the store page was simply configured incorrectly.
Over on the Xbox Microsoft Store, here’s what the store page lists shows:
As you can see, ‘Control – Xbox Series X’ is simply a part of a bundle on the store, similar to how other bundles will show the game, DLC and other entitlements.
This does renews the questions over 505 Games’ half-hearted explanation of the Ultimate Edition:
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.
It was believed that this was down to Microsoft’s insistence to developers and publishers that upgrades to the next-generation not come in the form of paid DLC, however, a number of other games have seemingly found a way around this. NBA 2K21 is being sold in a special cross-gen edition, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has both standard and cross-gen editions. In COD’s case, those purchasing the standard edition on both PS4 and Xbox One will be able to upgrade to the cross-gen edition for $10.
It’s clear at this point that it’s a business decision and that there is some kind of workaround available to publishers to skirt past Microsoft’s restriction. However, it might not be as simple as blaming 505 Games. There will be some additional work required from Remedy to add the enhanced graphics options and optimise for the new consoles, and that does come with an associated cost. Wanting to charge for that is not unreasonable, even if it is nicer for consumers.
The difficulty could be that there’s no equivalent path from the standard or digital deluxe bundle on to the Ultimate Edition, as there is with Black Ops Cold War. There you are simply making up the difference in price between Standard and Cross-Gen versions. On the PS Store, the Ultimate Edition is priced at £32, while the Standard Edition is still on sale for £49.99 and DLC Season Pass for £19.99. If the Standard Edition were to drop to £20, for example, then it might be possible.
Either way, this has just been a store slip up and 505’s stance has seemingly not changed on offering next-gen upgrades to prior purchasers, free or otherwise.