Control Ultimate Edition and the Ultimate Fiasco

Control Ultimate Edition

On August 12, 505 Games announced that the Remedy-developed Control was receiving the Ultimate Edition treatment, which, in traditional Ultimate Edition fashion, would bundle the base game with all of the content available in the season pass.

There was a caveat, however, that sent more than a few commentators, Internet personalities, and consumers into a frenzy: This would be the only way to upgrade to a next-gen version when the new crop of consoles releases later this year.

This means that if you bought the game anytime before the release of the Ultimate bundle, with or without the season pass or subsequent DLC piecemeal, you should not expect those copies to upgrade to the next-gen version.

Foul was cried and, for the most part, for good reason. This definitely seemed like a way for 505 games to make an extra buck by forcing players who already purchased Control at some point before the Ultimate Edition was announced to simply bite the bullet and buy it a second time. Even if Control Ultimate Edition is launching at the discounted price of $39.99, this still seems like it’s asking a lot.

For people like me, who only own the base game (which I got on sale for $30) without any of the DLC, simply upgrading to the Ultimate Edition, double copies of the base game be damned, would be $15 more expensive than the season pass asking price of $25.

Control Ultimate Edition

I can’t imagine having bought the game at its launch-day MSRP of $59.99, plus the season pass for $25, only to realize that I would need to shell out another $40 just to get an updated next-gen edition.

On the other hand, that is exactly what we all would’ve had to do before the idea of a free next-gen upgrade was a possibility, which itself has only been a speculative reality for the last few months running up to the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

To put this into context, I own a copy of Grand Theft Auto V for Xbox 360, which I paid the full $59.99 retail price for. I also own a copy of Grand Theft Auto V for the PS4, which I got for the discounted retail price of $39.99. This is what everyone was expected to do back in 2013 when these new consoles launched.

At some point between then and now, there was this idea that some games would provide a free next-gen version for players who bought in on the PS4 or Xbox One. Even the few publishers that have floated the idea, some of these free games also come with caveats — mostly time-based, but caveats nonetheless.

Control Ultimate Edition

505 games released a statement detailing some of the reasons behind their decision to release Control Ultimate Edition and leave the early adopters out in the cold. Of course, this has only lead to further questions, confusion, and calls of foul. The statement was admittedly too vague to be of any usefulness

Bottom line: This is a mess. But it all could’ve been avoided rather easily if only 505 Games were operating without their heads up their butts, which I’m assuming is exactly where their heads were at the time.

If we could rewind time, this is how the Control Ultimate Edition should have been handled:

Step one: Apologize that there will be no free upgrade for current copies to a next-gen version. Free upgrades aren’t par for the course in this industry. It was never promised, and really, it should not be expected.

Step two: One month before the official, chronicled next-gen console release date, announce Control Ultimate Edition as a next-gen-only version, keep the $40 price tag but do not sell it early on current-gen consoles with the option to then later upgrade.

Problem solved.

But I guess that would’ve required too much of an exercise in Control-ling the discourse.

For what it’s worth, you can check out the Control Ultimate Edition trailer below.

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