Control publisher 505 has claimed that limiting next-gen upgrades to just those who purchase the new Ultimate Edition was the fairest option available to it.
Control Ultimate Edition was announced for current and next-gen consoles earlier this month and bundles the original Remedy title and all DLC for $40 / £30.
In a website Q&A Remedy confirmed that “the free upgrade path to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 version of Control is only available for Control Ultimate Edition,” which means that those who purchased it previously will not be eligible.
The news expectedly caused a negative reaction from many owners of the original version of the game, and on Thursday publisher 505 released a statement to apologise and attempt to explain its decision.
According to the publisher, it spent several months exploring its options for next-gen upgrades, and due to “some form of blocker” it was unable to find a solution where every group of players was able to benefit.
“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,” it 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 added: “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.”
The publisher noted that owners of the current-gen version of Control will still be able to play on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility.
Meanwhile, the next-gen console versions of Control will contain the same content as the current gen game, but “take full advantage of the power and features provided by these new consoles,” it said.
“To bring Control to next generation consoles in any form, we had to make some difficult decisions and those came in the form of creating the simplified Control Ultimate Edition product plan we have today,” 505 concluded.
“That we took a while in responding does not mean we have not been listening. We are sorry we couldn’t meet everyone’s expectations and we hope you will continue to support Control. We thank you for your support thus far.”