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Metro Developers Explain why Redux isn’t a free Upgrade


Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light are being re-released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC later this year, and while owners of the original titles on Steam are getting a 50% discount on the upgrade, some members of Valve’s community are angry that they’re not going to get the improved versions for absolutely nothing. The developers, 4A Games, have taken some time to explain just why that is, and it goes far beyond the “don’t be greedy” that it could have been.

From Steam:

When we announced Metro 2033 Redux and Metro: Last Light Redux earlier this year, we confirmed that PC gamers who owned the original title would benefit from a 50% discount against the corresponding ‘Redux’ version.

We thought this was a great offer – but while there are many who are clearly very happy with the deal, it’s been made clear on the Steam discussions here that there are others who think we have not done enough for owners of the existing games.

Some think we should have released these as ‘free’ updates, or offered a bigger discount (particularly on Metro: Last Light Redux).

This response blindsided us a little. We have taken our time to review the concerns and arguments and offer a proper response.

So here it is:

Almost the entire team of around 80 people at 4A Games will have been working on the Metro Redux titles for almost a year by the time we release next month. It has been a substantial project for the studio, with three main elements:

  • Significantly updating the 4A Engine, adding (amongst many other features) Global Illumination and terrain tessellation, as well numerous performance enhancements
  • Upgrading Metro: Last Light to run in this engine, while adding some minor features such as Check Watch and Check Inventory, and some significant ones such as the new ‘Survival’ play style
  • Completely re-building Metro 2033 to run in the new 4A engine, with the new and improved Last Light gameplay framework; and adding new content and assets

For sure, Metro 2033 Redux is a far more significant upgrade over the original than Metro: Last Light Redux (and we’re not trying to pretend otherwise).

We think the 50% discount is more than fair for the amount of work that has gone into this title. It is a complete remake of the original game in the latest engine, that will offer a significantly different experience from the original throughout with improved graphics, performance and gameplay.

Metro: Last Light Redux, we will readily admit, does not represent as significant a change over the original. So why the same 50% discount and not more? Why not just patch the game?

The latter proved to be impossible for a technical reason. Because of the changes to the engine, which necessitated dropping 32-bit support; we literally could not ‘patch’ the game.

In fact, both Redux games will exist as new titles in your Steam libraries, and the originals will still be there.

So why ‘only’ a 50% discount, the same as 2033?

We felt that because the Redux version also included the DLC in addition to the new game mode and enhancements, that was also a fair price.

But we understand that for those of you who already had the DLC, the offer is not as compelling – again, we are not pretending this is as significant an overhaul as Metro 2033. And we did consider alternatives – e.g. 50% if you only owned the base game, 75% if you owned all the DLC – but these ideas raised a number of practical / logistical challenges.

In the end, a flat 50% discount was judged to be the simplest, fairest solution. Ultimately, you are free to vote with your wallets.

If you have already bought Metro: Last Light, with or without the DLC, and you feel that we are not offering enough to tempt you to upgrade – that’s fine.

We are extremely grateful for your support for the original game – we do not expect you to purchase the Redux version, nor do we feel entitled to your custom. Make your own decision based on whether you think that $12.49 (or the local currency alternative) is worth the asking price, and we will respect that.

We know this response will not please everyone – but even though you still might not agree with the rationale, we do hope you understand that our goal was to reward, not exploit, existing owners while still making a viable business model that allowed this Redux project to go ahead on PC as well as console.

And for newcomers to the series who have yet to experience the world of Metro, we hope that you will enjoy what we believe is an extraordinary amount of content, painstakingly remastered at great length to the highest standard, for a fantastic price.


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Article By

Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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