With the launch of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S, a number of developers announced free next-gen upgrades for their games, which meant that you wouldn’t have to buy the same game twice if you wanted to play it on a next-gen console. However 505 Games took a different approach; a next-gen upgrade was only available to those who owned the Ultimate Edition, and not the base version of the game. Expectedly, audiences were not pleased as it looked like a blatant cash-grab. However, it appears that 505 now feels that it could have handled the whole thing a bit better.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, 505 Games president, Neil Ralley admitted that Control’s next-gen upgrade situation was not handled as well as it could have been. "We learnt a lot from that. Did we as a publisher handle it in the best way and communicate it in the best way to the audience? Maybe not. But we did our best to satisfy consumers,” he said.
Rally claimed that 505 tried to explore several avenues when it came to a free next-gen update, but there were several “blockers” which would have led to at least one group of players to be left out.
"Every transition from one generation to another creates challenges for both development and publishing," he said. "The Smart Delivery option, if I can use that term to generalise, was something we hadn't faced before as an industry.
"For Control, we made certain decisions restricted how we could perform Smart Delivery for the next-gen version of Control,” he continued. “They were the correct decisions at the time, but they created those blockers. We were unable to backtrack and reorganise how we were developing the Ultimate Edition for there to be a sensible and fair way to do Smart Delivery.”
Remedy is currently working on a "bigger-budget" Control title as well as a Control multiplayer spinoff. We did get a few more details about the multiplayer spin-off last month. "Condor is a 4-player cooperative PvE (player vs. environment) game, set in the world of our award-winning Control," revealed former Remedy CEO Tero Virtala in a financial call.