Remedy Entertainment’s Alan Wake 2 is finally on the way, but the game was originally planned years prior. In fact, the game was once planned as an Xbox exclusive that included live-action TV segments. Sound familiar?
In an interview with Eurogamer, Remedy’s Sam Lake revealed that a number of ideas planned for Alan Wake 2 were used in the Xbox exclusive game Quantum Break, namely the live-action segments that intercut missions.
In Quantum Break, players are in control for a mission before the story continues in pre-recorded TV show episodes, lasting as long as you’d expect. These live-action episodes were a point of contention upon release, but have since been celebrated as a unique inclusion.
As Lake explains, Alan Wake 2 was supposed to follow this same path, but Microsoft turned down the chance to develop the sequel in favour of new ideas.
“We were creating a concept of Alan Wake 2, we were showing it to Microsoft - but other publishers as well at the time - and it was maybe slightly awkward timing as, you know, the industry shifts and changes along the way," Lake told Eurogamer.
The Remedy icon explains that publishers were pushing against single-player games, claiming that “linear single player games are a thing of the past” in an era of live service games. Despite the developer’s pedigree, “nobody was really interested”.
“In that pitch, I had the idea there would be live-action mini-episodes in-between the episodes of the game,“ Lake explained. “During that pitch at Microsoft, they were like, 'We are interested right now about this, but not really interested about going on with Alan Wake."
That eventually led to the creation of Quantum Break, a time travel story that used the mediums of games and TV to tell a unique story. Nevertheless, Remedy have still worked on creating new versions of Alan Wake 2 over the years until they settled on its current iteration.
“Between every game we have come back with a new version of what Alan Wake 2 could be, and we've had some discussions and here we are now,” Lake explained. “[Even] Control also started off as an Alan Wake 2 concept.”
Remedy Entertainment is trying something different with Alan Wake 2, and its idea of live-action episodes is not returning. Inspired by True Detective, the upcoming sequel is going to be a darker take on the original game’s horror-pulp universe.
Alan Wake 2 releases in a digital-only format on October 17th, 2023. The game launches on Xbox Series, PS5 and PC, exclusively on the Epic Games Store.