There are places in our world where fiction and dreams can come true.

Community Spotlight: Holly Nightmare

For our final Community Spotlight of 2018, we have the talented Holly Nightmare, aka tsunderekatsu, co-owner of the Control community Discord, Wikia, and Reddit.

Half-Payne, Half-Life's Max Payne Mod Gets Final Update

suXin's Max Payne-themed Half-Life mod receives its final update with a selection of new modes, Twitch intergreation, and model changes.

A Year in Review [2018]

To celebrate the new year, we look back at the past twelve months of game announcements, community projects, and events.

Behind the Scenes of Poets of the Fall's War Music Video

To celebrate 15 years of Poets of the Fall (Old Gods of Asgard) we spoke to Director, Akseli Tuomivaara, about creating the Alan Wake-inspired music video, War. [Photo by Tiia Öhman].

Charity Auctions raise £1405.60 for Cancer Research UK!

Our Monarch Gala and Spring Charity Auction raises £1405.60 for Cancer Research UK! With invaluable support from Remedy and Poets of the Fall.

Interviews and Conversations with....

Over the past four years, I've had the pleasure of interviewing some individuals involved including Cam Rogers, Kathy Tong, Fred Berman, Ilkka Villi, Christopher Forsyth and Brett Kelly.

14th February 2019
Happy Valentine's Day... Have Some Puns!
[Control Inspired Valentine's Day Cards]

Happy Valentine's Day! This day is always a kind of a mix of different attitudes; some love it, some absolutely despise it, some appreciate the free burritos, and some people are sad that they're 1200 miles away from free burritos but liked the restaurant's page on Facebook and now they get adverts for delicious burritos that they cannot have. On a related note, Tortilla House in Helsinki has a two for 15€ on burritos today.

If you visited us in February before, you would know that we only celebrate today in one way. Puns. Forget romantic, we are here for the cheese. And now that Control has officially been announced, well...
I love how uncomfortable/unsure Darling looks in this concept art, especially repurposed for a Valentine's Day card. Darling is everyone today. Uncomfortable. Unsure. Wondering if they can still fly 1200 miles before Tortilla House closes. Probably not. I guess I'll just check the fridge.
Ready for some awkward social interaction with co-workers and mandatory team building exercises?
And if you think that one was bad, you might want to sit down.
If the hanging out joke felt a little too morbid, here's another with a muuuuch lighter twist:
And of course, we couldn't let you go without the classic...
All screenshots above are from the Official Control Imgur page.

If you would like to read more terrible Remedy-inspired puns, we wrote an article featuring Valentine's Day cards written by Max Payne in 2014, Alan Wake card designs in 2016, and Quantum Break puns in 2017. I apologize in advance!

I want to also give a shoutout to the amazing Fraser for these Alan Wake Valentine's Day cards. They. Are. Perfect:

And to Charlie for these Quantum Break cards. I love them so much.

13th February 2019
Remedy Publishes Studio's 2018 Financial Review
[Including Quick Breakdown]

Yesterday, Remedy released their bi-annual financial report, with the latest document summing up the studio's progress throughout 2018.

The financial reports are now available publically following Remedy's change from a privately owned business to a publically owned one in May 2017. The official documentation is written in Finnish but a version has been published in English for information purposes. Today we're going to run through some of the announcements and changes taking place at the studio.

This is our third year talking about this subject; for summaries of changes over the past years check out our April 2017 roundup, our February 2018 roundup and our August 2018 roundup!


First up, the studio! 

For the studio, 2018 brought in a number of changes including the completion of Crossfire HD's Operation Frost campaign in autumn 2018, the continued development and announcement of Control (previously known as"P7"), the relocation of the studio, the continual growth of the development teams, and the announcement of the Vanguard team targeting long-lasting multiplayer experiences. As a result, revenue is up at €20.1 million (+17.3%), but as Remedy didn't launch a game in 2018 and with the increase in new personnel, the studio's EBIT (Earnings Before Interest & Tax) is currently €0.6 million (-69.6%). This is something that the company is hoping to tackle in 2019 going forward with the target of releasing a game or game expansion annually.

The studio passed the 200 employee mark as of 31st December 2018. 55% of the studio are Finnish devs with 45% being international developers who have relocated. To date, the studio has developers from 23 different nationalities.  Through-out 2018, the studio received a lot of attention with 2723 job applications, 239 of which passed to the first interview, and 117 passed to the second interview. 76 Interviews were conducted on-site with 71 leading to official offers, and later, 63 developers accepting.


When it comes to games, we heard some new information from the report. 

Interestingly, while we don't have a release date for Control just yet, there was a passing comment in the report which indicated that it may be launched in the second half of 2019 as the company's revenue and EBIT numbers are predicted to rise then. Whether it's Q3 or Q4, that hasn't been revealed but we might want to make a note of E3 (June 11-13th) and Gamescom (21-24th August).

When it comes to the CrossFire series, Remedy hopes to tap into the FPS MMO market with their partnership with Smilegate, whose community consisting of 650 million registered players, with 8.5 million simultaneous players across 80 countries. It's an IP that generates over one billion dollars in revenue yearly. Work on CrossFire HD's Operation Frost concluded in autumn 2018 with an announcement of their continued partnership revealed late last year. As for income from the partnership, Remedy's revenues come from dev payments and potential royalties. The Finnish studio's part in the partnership is purely developmental with distribution, marketing, and communications handled by Smilegate directly. CrossFire HD (along with Operation Frost) is currently being soft-launched in China.

The financial report for 2018 also teased a third title in the early stages. Work began on the project in early 2018 with the game currently in the concept and design phase.

Work has also been progressing with Northlight. Writing in the translated financial report, Remedy's CEO Tero Virtala personally expanded on the studio's in-house engine team, Northlight and the progress they have made: "The period under review also saw us develop Remedy’s own Northlight game engine and tools, which are used by both Control and CrossFire projects. The 40-strong Northlight team has – in addition to continuous improvement – put effort into AI, animation technology, game development tools, and support for PlayStation 4 as well as regular technology updates and practices related to them. Thanks to these, Northlight can in a better way continuously service multiple game projects simultaneously. Additionally developing Control on several gaming platforms, and also the NVIDIA RTX ray tracing technology supported by the PC version have been big efforts for the Northlight team."


Quick Breakdown

Remedy
  • 200 Employees since 31/12/2018  (+34%).
  • 220 Employees since 12/2/2019.
  • Remedy has employees from 23 nationalities with 55% from Finland and 45% international developers.
  • Revenue increased to €20.1 million (+17.3%) due to two projects in production.
  • EBIT drops to €0.6 million (-69.6%) as teams expand personnel and project numbers but didn't launch a title in 2018. 
  • The Board of Directors has proposed dividends distributions with €0.10 per share.
  • Map for future growth: (1) deliver games that stand out and establish long term franchises, in a (2) multi-project studio model that enables Remedy to have a (3) stronger position in the value chain.
  • Remedy's strengths going ahead are high-quality games with memorable characters and immersive stories alongside high-quality action gameplay, and blending the two with longer lasting gameplay mechanics and new storytelling techniques. 
  • In 2018, Remedy received 2723 job applications, 239 passed to the first interview, 117 passed to the second interview. 76 Interviews were conducted on-site with 71 leading to official offers, and 63 developers accepting. 
  • Remedy received an 8.3 Peakton score (comparing the company's commitment and enthusiasm to tech companies with 151-500 companies in Europe). 
  • Revenue and EBIT growth expected in H2 2019
  • Remedy is planning to release a game or game expansion annually from 2019 onwards.

Development
  • A third (unannounced) project is currently underway in the concept and design phase.
  • The third project began work in early 2018. 
  • Crossfire HD's Operation Frost was completed in 2018.
  • Continuation of partnership with Smilegate on a new CrossFire project has been announced. 
  • Formation of Vanguard, a new development team focused on delivering long-lasting multiplayer experiences announced in 2018.
  • Control has reached full production and is still scheduled to launch in 2019 on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC. 

Games & Projects
  • Control (formerly "P7") was announced at E3's Sony Media Briefing in a marketing deal with Sony.
  • Alan Wake TV series has been announced and is currently "being prepared". 
  • Alan Wake returned to digital marketplaces following a renegotiation of music licenses by XBOX Studios (formerly Microsoft Studios). 
  • Remedy hopes to reach the same audience with CrossFire HD's Operation Frost campaign; the series has 650 million registered players with 8.5 million simultaneous players in 80 countries. The series also generates over one billion dollars of revenue yearly.
  • Remedy's revenues for Operation Frost relies on development payments and potential royalties.
  • Distribution, marketing, and communications handled by Smilegate for CrossFire projects. 


Our Take

Remedy is talking a lot about narrative-focused titles for the studios but interestingly, while they have Sam Lake as Creative Director and Brooke Maggs as Narrative Designer, they don't have an on-site writer at the studio. It's a little strange especially as it's been several months since Anna Megill (former-Narrative Lead) left for Massive in Malmö. Maggs took over from Eevi Korhonen soon after her departure. While the studio is undergoing restructuring (also discussed in the report) it looks like it's focusing on the other departments. With work wrapping up on Control and work starting on the "third project" and second CrossFire game, they might not be looking for one specifically right now. But I would be very surprised if that remains the case for too long, given the emphasis put on the importance of narrative in their report.

Another interesting detail that we noticed was that the English version of the report didn't mention the number of employees versus the number of contractors this time. In the August 2018 report, it was stated that there were 185 professionals working at Remedy (including contractors) and 164 Remedy-employees with just over twenty hired contractors. While the report this time mentions that the company has 200 employees from 2018, and 220 at the time of publishing, it hasn't given a number to the contractors. This may be because it's hard to quantify the number of contractors if they only work with Remedy for a set amount of time, for instance, a month or two. But it's interesting that the contractor/employee numbers were undefined this time.

The financial report also underlined Remedy's role in their partnership with Smilegate; as a game developer only. It's an unusual decision as the partnership felt like a good way for both studios to expand their audience. CrossFire's success is massive but has limited reach with western audiences, their decision to partner with studios who had success in those markets felt like a desire to expand. But as a Remedy fan, it's hard to track down any information about the game as hardly anything is available in English and it's not focused as much by media outlets, possibly for a similar reason. It's an interesting business decision that they would want to tap into the western market by collaborating with established studios but be reluctant to have those studios be involved in marketing it in their circles. Apart from press releases about Remedy's involvement with the studio released by the developers, the only real piece of CrossFire information that Remedy fans have received was the trailer released a month ago.

7th February 2019
Control Prototype and Final Demo Comparisons

Earlier this week, the Control social media channels uploaded a new video comparison detailing the changes made to the E3 demo from an early prototype to the final version showed to the press and community.

The comparison shows how much the demo has improved from late 2017 to mid 2018, with changes made across the board including animation, lighting, character models, combat mechanics and a whole lot more. For anyone interested in seeing how games are built, this is definitely a video to check out.

The game is scheduled to launch later this year on XBOX One, Playstation 4, and PC. At present we don't have a concrete release date, but we should be hearing news about that in the coming months.

6th February 2019
Courtney Hope Community Q&A on Discord
Ask Your Questions! [7th February Deadline] CLOSED

Control's lead actor, Courtney Hope, will be answering fan questions during her stay in Helsinki. Questions are currently being collected via the #control-general channel on the Official Control Discord.

Deadline for questions is 7th February at 10am GMT (12pm EET).


Getting Started on the Official Control Server
Getting started on Discord is pretty easy as you can set up a free account in just a couple of minutes. When you join the server, you will have to wait ten minutes until your account becomes unlocked. For new accounts joining the Discord, you will need to join the FBC Agents team before you're able to post and join the discussions. Getting there is pretty simple, just type ".iam FBC Agents" (on its own and without quotation marks) into the text box of the #roles channel. You should be all ready to go then!

If it doesn't go through, it might be because you typed "agent" instead of "agents", converted "iam" to "im", went back to edit your post after noticing a typo, or (I did this originally) put the group name in the same post as my pronoun. I've confirmed a few accounts over the weekend that was just missing out a letter, so if you have any queries or issues, let one of the community team or mods know. If there is a typo, that's no problem, just post it again.

Other Remedy Communities
There's also a number of wonderful community Discord servers already established with a closely knitted group of fans looking for new members. These channels include Kristy's Alan Wake server, Charlie's Quantum Break server, and the Control community server.

-- CONSOLE & PC GAMES --

In Development

Quantum Break Series

Alan Wake Series

Max Payne Series

-- MOBILE GAMES --

-- LIVE ACTION SERIES --

Beyond the shadow you settle for, there's a miracle illuminated.