505 Games accidentally upgrades Control Deluxe Edition owners to the new Ultimate Edition, prompting outrage by fans.
505 Games has locked Control's next-gen PS5, Xbox Series X upgrades behind a separate Ultimate Edition SKU. Instead of simply updating existing PS4, Xbox One owners with free next-gen upgrades like CDPR, Ubisoft, and EA are doing, 505 games is forcing anyone who bought Control or the Deluxe Edition to re-buy the $39.99 Ultimate Edition to play the game with next-gen enhancements.
Why is this happening? For business reasons, mostly, but 505 Games' official comment says they nixed the free upgrade because "leaving any one group out feels unfair." This caused uproar in the community. No one wants to re-buy the game for $40 (don't buy the Deluxe Edition or base game, buy the Ultimate Edition).
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.
Things got worse when the PlayStation Store automatically upgraded PS4 Deluxe Edition owners to the Ultimate Edition for free. The publisher soon revoked access, but the damage was done: 505 Games is seen as a liar by fans now.
So what happened exactly?
The Deluxe Edition is basically being de-listed. 505 Games apparently didn't have a means of differentiating the two. It appears the Ultimate Edition replaced the Deluxe Edition instead of being offered as a separate version.
So Deluxe Edition owners could temporarily download the Ultimate Edition, the version that allows next-gen upgrades. 505 Games never explicitly said upgrading the Deluxe to Ultimate wasn't possible, they just said that next-gen optimizations were only possible with the Ultimate Edition.
It's the access to the Ultimate Edition that was restricted by the publisher. The reasons behind this restriction was to ensure no one was left out. But in reality, upgrading base owners of Control to the Ultimate Edition would essentially give them free access to DLC (the Ultimate Edition comes with two expansions).
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.
Ultimately, this was a business decision from 505 Games. Instead of giving Deluxe Edition owners free access to the Ultimate Edition, they chose to re-sell the game for $40. There could be some technical reasons behind this move but ultimately it comes down to entitlement and access; the publisher simply wasn't willing to give away a next-gen enhanced version of their game away for free to those who already bought it.
505 Games has 20 years publishing exclusivity on Control. The publisher paid 7.5 million Euros to help fund the game's development, and also agreed to handle all worldwide marketing and shipping costs for the game.
Re-releases are vital to the game's continued sales momentum. This isn't a live game, so full game sales are the only metric to make revenue from Control. So re-releases make sense from a business perspective, but the messaging is what's caused controversy here.
The Control Ultimate Edition is out now on Steam, the Epic Store, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This version will carry forward on PS5 and Xbox Series S/X with optimizations like high frame rates, ultra-fast loading speeds, and ray tracing.
Base versions of Control and all expansions will be fully backward compatible on both next-gen systems.