Alan Wake 2 arrives this October more than 13 years after the original Remedy game, and after several false starts in the making of the sequel.
Much of developer Remedy’s original pitch for a sequel went to Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, the action-heavy 2012 standalone spinoff that, while not unanimously loved by critics, became something of a cult that hit of the old Xbox Live Arcade days.
Remedy has been working on ideas for a full sequel ever since, during which it released Quantum Break – the Xbox One exclusive that mixes time-bending action and shooting live-action TV episodes – and then the fellow “Remedy connected universe ” Entry control.
But as creative director Sam Lake explained to Eurogamer at Summer Games Fest earlier this month, both games began as ideas for Alan Wake 2. At one point, Lake actually built a version of Alan Wake 2 that will have Quantum Break-style “live-action mini episodes”, only for Microsoft to reject this pitch due to the feeling that linear single-player games are, in words said Lake, “is a thing of the past.”
Despite this, Microsoft liked the idea of a video game with live-action sections – and thus the unique idea for Quantum Break was born.
“So, we were working on the concept of Alan Wake 2, we were showing it to Microsoft – but also other publishers at the time – and maybe the timing was a bit awkward because, you know, the industry is changing and changing in way,” Lake said.
“Back then there was obviously a feeling that linear single player games were a thing of the past. Well, single-player story is obviously huge these days, but at the time, it seemed like nobody really interested.”
“And as a detail,” he said, “in that pitch, I had the idea that there would be live-action mini-episodes between the game episodes, and during that pitch to Microsoft, it was like , ‘We’re interested now about it, but not really interested in continuing with Alan Wake.”
So, Lake explained, “that evolved into Quantum Break. But between each game we came back with a new version of what Alan Wake 2 could be, and we had some discussions and here we are now.”
Alan Wake 2 game director Kyle Rowley added that “Control also started as an Alan Wake 2 concept”, something Lake also confirmed.
Is there anything from those original concepts, from the days before American Nightmare, that made it into Alan Wake 2 that we’ll be getting in a few months? “Very little,” answered Lake.
“Of course, it’s the same character and it’s the same setting – the Pacific Northwest and Dark Place – and there are a lot of lore elements that evolved from that. But beyond that, what the game part of it is, or the actual plot it’s… it’s very different.”
For Lake, that’s still a positive. “I’m really happy we didn’t get any of those,” he said. “Because I’m more excited in many, many ways about what we’re doing now.”
Microsoft’s decision to focus on the episodic portion of Lake’s pitch makes for particularly interesting reading in the context of the company’s infamous “TV, TV, TV” Xbox One reveal in 2013, and the a noticeable lack of compelling, single-player games for the year after.
now, court documents from Microsoft’s attempted $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard – which Microsoft went through in hopes of solving a lack of releases in comparison to rival platform holder Sony – reveal that Microsoft is at least considering consider taking Remedy in the past.
The fact that Alan Wake 2 and the recent Alan Wake Remastered will launch on the Epic Games Store is listed as a “risk” in those documents.
That said, it’s clear that Microsoft has at least looked at the prospect of buying a large number of companies in recent years – including Sega and Destiny developer Bungie.
Meanwhile, Remedy also explained to Eurogamer why Alan Wake 2 will be digital-only, and Sam Lake tells how Stephen King licensed the quote at the beginning of Alan Wake for just one dollar, all as part of our big preview of Alan Wake 2 and interview.
#Microsoft #rejected #Alan #Wake #pitch #TVstyle #episodes #Quantum #Break