Remedy opens up on Alan Wake 2’s status.
Earlier this morning it was revealed that Remedy Entertainment hasacquired the publishing rights toAlan Wake, which was, of course, the supernatural detective game it developed exclusively for the Xbox 360 back in 2010. The rights were previously held by Microsoft.
But while it has definitely removeda barrierthat would make the creation of an Alan Wake 2 easier, it doesn’t mean a sequel is immediately a safe bet.
Not that the audience demand isn’t there. Although the original Alan Wake was a critical success – it has an extremely respectable 83 on Metacritic – it struggled enough commercially that a sequel wasn’t immediately greenlit by Microsoft (it received a spin-off in 2012’s An American Nightmare, but not a full-blown Alan Wake 2). Throughout the years, however, it developed something of a cult status, with callouts from fans for a sequel gradually boiling to a fever pitch.
“[Alan Wake’s popularity] is an ongoing thing,” Remedy Creative Director and Alan Wake Lead Writer Sam Lake told IGN in an upcoming episode ofUnfiltered.“It’s growing and growing – it’s growing each year. I can’t do a post on social media without people replying Alan wake 2? Alan Wake 2, please? Alan Wake 2 confirmed? Whatever it is.”
But in a statement toEurogamer,Remedy offered a somewhat cryptic ‘clarification’ of what publishing rights could mean A: for a potential sequel to Alan Wake, or B: for a potential port of the original. “The only thing we want to clarify, now that Remedy owns the publishing rights, is that we could bring Alan Wake to different platforms if we so choose. We have nothing to announce for now.”
This statement indicates it’s far more likely that we’ll be seeing a port of the original Alan Wake to the PlayStation 4 ahead of a full-blown sequel. More, Remedy has been quite open with the fact that while an Alan Wake 2 is not out of the question, it’s definitely not in any firm shape at this current time. In fact, the two major Alan Wake 2 prototypes that were created over the years ended up being dismantled for parts that went into Remedy’s subsequent games, An American Nightmare, Quantum Break, and the upcoming supernatural action game Control.
“Ever since the first game, I’ve on and off been working on the sequel”, said Lake. “ I haven’t said this publicly, but between each project. After the first game, a small crew and I created a concept for the sequel. Before An American Nightmare. But then we realized that it wasn’t going forward, so some of those ideas went into Quantum Break, some of them went into An American Nightmare.”
Lake returned to brainstorming what Alan Wake 2 might look like after the release of Quantum Break, but the new concept didn’t have the right Alan Wake feel, and aspects of its design eventually made their way into Control. “We created a new concept for Alan Wake 2, which was very different,” said Lake. “We were looking at it, talking about it with potential partners, but ultimately we came to the conclusion that it doesn’t quite feel like Alan Wake, and myself and Mikael Kasurinen – who directed Alan Wake and is now the director of Control – decided we’ll just do a new IP. We’ll take these ideas and put them into a new IP. And that became Control.”
Of course, that Alan Wake 2 has bounced around in Lake’s mind since 2010 means his passion for the game isn’t going to fizzle out any time soon. Could a new Alan Wake 2 be conceptualized after Control releases August 27?
“I won’t retreat to a cabin in the woods this summer to work on Alan Wake 2,” said Lake. Control has been a pretty intense project. And I’ve been in a cabin enough writing its story. But I’ll take a break and then we’ll start evaluating what’s next.
“The bar for a sequel is high. This is not Alan Wake 2 confirmed, but I do hope it happens. I would love that more than anything. I have a lot of passion for creating it.”
Keep your eye out for the full Unlocked interview with Sam Lake later this month.
Lucy O’Brien is Executive Editor of Features at IGN. Follow her on Twitter.