'Control' Having a Messy Next-Gen Transition Isn't Surprising

Launching a new console is difficult enough on its own, but add on a global pandemic and the lineups for PS5 and Xbox Series X are getting sparser and sparser by the day.
August 21, 2020, 8:30pm
Key art for Control: Ultimate Edition. Close up of Control protagonist Jesse Faden (as portrayed by actress Courtney Hope), a white woman with bright red hair, smirks at the camera.
Image courtesy of Remedy Entertainment

When Remedy announced the next DLC for Control, we were cautiously optimistic. One thing they slipped in during that stream was mention of an “Ultimate Edition” which would ostensibly collect the base game and its DLCs in one package. One point that wasn’t mentioned until later is that the only way current owners of Control would be able to receive the next-gen version of the game would be through purchasing this new edition, no free upgrade, no Xbox Smart Delivery. This caused enough of a stir in the community that this week, they released a blog post that attempted to explain the decisions that got them to this point. We discuss their reasoning, the sparse next-gen lineup, and more on this week’s Waypoint Radio. You can listen to the full episode and read an excerpt below.

Austin: Super curious what the turnaround they expected was because the other thing about this FAQ is that it reads as if they were always writing a check that they thought they weren't going to have to cash for a little bit longer. It reads like, “Listen, we thought about this a long time ago…” I mean what they actually say is, “we spent several months exploring all of our launch options, no decision was taken lightly. 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.” I'm assuming that's like partner deals in terms of like we could do it just on Xbox or just on PS5?

Patrick: I don't know the exact details, so I don't want to get tripped up on exactly the mechanisms, but there have been other games that are dealing with similar situations like this and have found ways of changing the digital code that is assigned to players that have purchased it digitally so they can do some carry over. They probably crunch the numbers and no, not that many people are actually going to engage with it relative to the amount of people that are upset over it, because it's always about what is the potential of what you could do not what you're actually going to do. Not to say people wouldn't play Control on their PS5, but it seems more along the lines of, when you buy a new video card, what's everyone's favorite thing to do? Load up a game you've seen before, see it look nice and shiny and new.


Austin: Well yeah, the audience they're actually trying to look for here is, hey remember that podcast we did a couple weeks ago, where I was like, “Alright, so I have Caesar salad, and I come back to the Xbox series X, what am I playing on it?” They want the version of me who's never touched Control before going “I guess they're just game Control I heard good things about that last generation.” That's who they're looking for right, people who buy a new console and need something to play on it.

Patrick: Especially when the launch lineup is going to be pretty sparse for both platforms. [That’s] just how launches go. It's always like this. We just saw Deathloop, the game that was just shown off as "this is coming to PS5 this year! Actually, what about next summer," a couple of weeks later, which just goes to show how much things are changing, and the pace that they're changing at.

Austin: Just in time for E3 next year.

This transcript was edited for length and clarity. Discussed: Control: Ultimate Edition 3:39, Apple vs Epic Continues 14:37, Nintendo Indie World Stream: 22:39, Spiritfarer 28:04, Star Renegades: 45:27, Othercide 54:49, Slay the Spire 1:00:41, Emails - aka The Food Zone- 1:02:03

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