Were you ever worried that Alan Wake 2 was never going to be released? Remedy Entertainment creative director Sam Lake has explained that he never actually got that feeling.
Before we get to Sam’s comments, let’s quickly review the completely valid reasons that fans were worried that Alan Wake as a franchise was done.
The first Alan Wake game was released in 2001. While most fans and critics see it as an action survival horror, Remedy actually combines several elements from other genres, including the episodic nature of a TV show, and some real action gameplay mechanics, to produce a work more original than the sum of its parts.
Two years later, Remedy released a spinoff, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. This turned out to not be a true sequel in terms of extending the story. Instead, it was a wave based action game where you fight the same mysterious ghouls, though it is set in the same continuity as the first game.
In 2015, we had covered Sam’s statement about Alan Wake 2. He had said then that Remedy had not ‘given up on that dream.’
With the power of insight, we understand that things were drastically different then than they are now. At this point in time, Remedy was owned by Microsoft, and subsequently, Microsoft had the rights to the Alan Wake franchise.
Alan Wake and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare were both developed while Microsoft owned Remedy, and at this time, they had a say on whether an Alan Wake 2 could be greenlit. Aside from these projects, Remedy produced the underappreciated but still critically acclaimed Quantum Break.
It would take Remedy leaving Microsoft, and being granted the rights back to Alan Wake, for Alan Wake 2 to go back into production. Truly, it was quite a trek for Remedy Entertainment to take.
As reported by PSU, however, it seems they weren’t really all that concerned that they would never get around to Alan Wake 2. In Sam Lake’s words:
“There was never a time when I felt that it would not happen. It just hadn’t happened yet. When you work on something with the intent of making it and then you realize it’s not happening, there is disappointment for sure.
But what happened with Quantum Break, what happened with Control, is that in that creative process of creating a concept [for Alan Wake 2], there were other ideas that sprang from that workshopping.”
In fact, it turns out that Remedy had started working on Alan Wake 2 while the studio was working on Control. Again, these are Sam’s comments from the same interview:
“We got the publishing rights back into our control [from Microsoft] and that led to us publishing Alan Wake Remastered multi-platform. But also, what had been kind of simmering in the background was the concept of the Remedy Connected Universe.
With Control, we didn’t want to talk about that beforehand, we wanted Control to be its own thing. But then when you play it and dig into it, you realize that it’s the same universe.
We were deep into working on Alan Wake 2 by the time ‘AWE’ came out, and we had many clear things already set up.”
So there you go. Between Quantum Break and Control, Remedy really was trying out new game ideas and experimenting with them, before going back into Alan Wake 2.
Alan Wake 2 will be released on October 17, 2023, on PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, and Windows.