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

Control to Launch 27th August 2019!

Following an accidental leak on the Microsoft Store, Game Informer and Remedy have now confirmed the release date for Control. Mark your calendars for August!

GameInformer Coverage of Control [April Issue]

Throughout March, Game Informer will be posting exclusive coverage of Control, featuring interviews with the developers, new gameplay footage, and more!

New Control Box Art Revealed

New box artwork for Control has emerged! While similar to its predesscor, the new promotional image is a gorgeous digital painting similar to American Nightmare's style.

Retrospective: Alan Wake's American Nightmare

To celebrate Alan Wake's American Nightmare's seventh anniversary, we take a closer look at the eight months it was in development.

Remedy's Financial Review 2018

We look at Remedy's Financial Review for 2018 and breakdow the changes that the company has faced over those tweleve months.

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.

19th May 2019
Remedy Sales on Steam, The Humble Store, and The Epic Store

This weekend, there are a number of sales across Steam, The Humble Store, and The Epic Store, all of which features discounts on a number of beloved Remedy titles. If you're looking to treat yourself or convert a friend, it's a pretty perfect time to do it!

Up first is the Steam Sale! Steam is running a Post-Apocalyptic Sale this weekend with titles such as Fallout4, XCOM 2, and Bioshock Infinite. Alan Wake and Alan Wake's American Nightmare are also part of the discounts with a fantastic 75% off! The price reduction also affects the Alan Wake Collector's Edition (Alan Wake plus the Collection Edition pack) and the Alan Wake Franchise (Alan Wake Collector's Edition, plus Alan Wake's American Nightmare) editions. Sale ends Monday 20th at 10am PT.

▼ Click HERE to view the Alan Wake deals!
▼ Click HERE to view the Post-Apocalyptic Sale! 

Next, The Humble Store! In addition to supporting charity, this weekend you can also pick up a copy of Max Payne or Max Payne 2 at 65%! Quantum Break is also part of the sale at an amazing 75% off! The titles are part of the store's Spring Sale, and all three are redeemed through a Steam key, so a Steam account is vital.  Sale ends Thursday 23rd at 10 PT.

▼ Click HERE to view Max Payne on Humble!
▼ Click HERE to view Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne on Humble!
▼ Click HERE to view Quantum Break on Humble!

Finally, we have the Epic Store! If you're looking to pre-order Control on PC, the Epic Store currently features the game with a 20% discount, dropping the price by £10. The game is on sale as part of the Store's Epic Mega Sale. By pre-ordering the game, you can also unlock the Tactical Gear Outfit for Jesse, and the Crafting Resource Pack. The game will later be released on Steam, but if you're looking to check out the game on its release date, it's a pretty good deal! 

Click HERE to view Control at Epic! 
Click HERE to view the Epic Mega Sale!

18th May 2019
Poets of the Fall Releases New Single, Partir Avec Moi

This week, as part of their teased "double single", Poets of the Fall have released their second music video and track of the month. The new piece is called Partir Avec Moi and it is really something!

The single comes in the wake of last week's release, featuring their Ultraviolet song, The Sweet Escape. Their latest piece is a translated version, with Marko singing in French, and yes, there's a music video too!

Similar to The Sweet Escape, the accompanying video keeps the same style and feel of its English-version, with a singing-directly-to-camera style, ambitious for a new language.
While Poets of the Fall's first language is Finnish, they tend to sing solely in English with the occasional special pieces featured in live gigs. They have also previously produced the track, for Ima and written Salaisuuksia for Johanna Kurkela, among other work, but traditionally sticks to English for their own songs. Partir Avec Moi is a departure from this making it their first POTF track in a different language!

The music video's director, cinematographer and editor was Miika Hakala, with additional shots by Markus "Captain" Kaarlonen" and with aerial photography by Inspiroiva Creative Oy / Ville Heiskanen, Aaro Vasama ja Aatu Heikkonen. Still photography was by Tiia Öhman and Henri Ilanen, with the latter also acting at the video's gaffer.

Partir Avec Moi is available to buy via Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play, or streamed on Spotify.

A bit of information about the band's history: Poets of the Fall has had a long history with Remedy, which officially started back in 2003 with Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. For the game, POTF created their first song, Late Goodbye based on a poem by Sam Lake. Later, the band returned for Alan Wake, creating the custom songs The Poet and the Muse and Children of the Elder God. Their song War, from their album, Twilight Theater, also made an appearance in the game. Their latest project with the developers has been with Alan Wake's American Nightmare. Balance Slays the Demon was created specifically for the title, and The Happy Song (which also appeared in the album Temple of Thought) also appeared in the game. The song Labyrinth from their Clearview album was inspired by Quantum Break.

15th May 2019
Ctrl Alt Ninja's Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest Out Now!

PC Gamers! If you're looking for a new game, make sure to check out Ctrl Alt Ninja's latest game, Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest, which launches today on Steam, The Humble Store and GOG!

A number of familiar names are behind the tactical turn-based title including: Jyri Leppänen (animator), Jussi Sammaltupa (programmer), Janne Sundqvist (story concept), Juho Salila (art director) and former Remedy developers; Petri Häkkinen (programming and game design), Antti Tiihonen (lead level designer), and Mikko Rautalahti (writer). It's a small team but an incredible title, and very much a passion project for the self-funded group.

The game is available for £19.49, and is packed with hours of fun content from the makers of Legend of Grimrock. To learn more about the title and the team behind it, visit the developer's site, HERE!
Official Druidstone Artwork

Official Synopsis:
Evil is afoot in Menhir Forest. The druids, the caretakers of the woods, are troubled: their archdruid has disappeared under deeply suspicious circumstances, and a cancerous growth of purple cysts is spreading, carrying corruption and sickness wherever they appear. It takes a special kind of hero to save the day. Or maybe more than one.

Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest is a labor of love from the co-creators of the critically acclaimed Legend of Grimrock series. Druidstone is a tactical, single-player, turn-based roleplaying game, which combines the best qualities of modern RPGs with the elegance of tactical boardgames. Every action, every turn counts as you control your party of heroes through handcrafted, challenging missions with varying, and often surprising, objectives.

Set in a unique fantasy world, Druidstone is filled with ancient lush forests, standing stones, snow-topped mountains, deadly creatures and puzzle-ridden ruins. And somewhere in the middle of all of this, caught in the flow of events, are Aava, the archdruid's daughter, who must now shoulder his responsibilities, Leonhard, a warden with a mysterious past and a lethal destiny, and Oiko, the failed Red Priest who is living proof that one may be very smart without being particularly wise. Along the way, they meet companions and villains, whose unique personalities and abilities make every encounter memorable.

14th May 2019
Article: A Breakdown of Quantum Break's Alan Wake Chalkboard [Celebrating Alan Wake's Ninth Anniversary]

Ever since Quantum Break was released three years ago, I've been meaning to dive deeper into some of the Easter Eggs placed around Riverport. So, for Alan Wake's ninth anniversary, it felt like the perfect time to take a closer at one of my personal favourites and try to decode the secrets written on the chalkboard inside Riverport university.

The chalkboard features a mix of references from the Alan Wake series, the side-blog The House of Dreams, and other media which influenced those stories. For long-time fans of the series, hopefully, it's a nice little refresher on the series, but for newer community members, I'll try to break down some of the weirder connections.

Up first...

The Alan Wake Series / Themes

Zane's Poem. Starting at the bottom left of the board, there's a poem that is packed with references to the original Alan Wake title; "...deeper darker ocean green where the waves are both wilder and more serene". In Alan Wake's tutorial, those words are first heard spoken Zane soon after Alan escapes the cabin. On the chalkboard, two of the words are underlined, a reference to its Quantum Break ties. Ahead of the game's launch, Remedy's Creative Director, Sam Lake mentioned on Twitter the comparisons between  "both wilder" mimicking "Beth Wilder" and "more serene" mimicking "Paul Serene", both individuals at the centre of the major events at Ground Zero in 1999.

Screenshot of the Alan Wake chalkboard from Quantum Break.

The Clicker.
 In the top left side of the board,  there's a sketch of the Clicker, an instrument of power and "a symbol of safety" in the Alan Wake universe as it can change day into night and ward away the Dark Presence. As a child, Alan was given it following nightmares; a "child's fear of the dark". In the game, the Clicker is given to Alan in Bright Falls inside a shoebox described on the chalkboard as being "the loophole... the safe, only place that can't be altered". This has been a reoccurring element of the Alan Wake series from Thomas Zane's books at Bird Leg Cabin, to the Clicker in the Well Lit Room, to the collection of poems on The House of Dream's.

The Alan Wake Series / Characters

Mr Scratch. There are also several references to Mr Scratch (including "Old Scratch", "The Devil" and "Old Norse, Scratte - Demon."), his name is sometimes crossed out, a mirror to Zane's censored introduction. The various mentions to the doppelgänger indicates his continued importance following the events of the original game, with several sections referring to the Alan Wake 2 demo (revealed by Polygon in April 2015). In the demo, there's some fogginess over Alice's safety; whether Scratch had already murdered her or intends to, with contradicting impressions revealed in the in-demo documentary. There's also references to what Scratch had done following the events of the first game, passing himself off as the writer; "when the writer is trapped in the Dark Place (i.e. Mad) who wears his face? His Dark Side".

Jagger. Barbara Jagger is also mentioned on the board, but in a more reduced role. Given that the character was a vessel for the Dark Presence, and the perceived death of that vessel at the end of the first game, it's less likely that she is going to be a reoccurring character in future instalments. However, a breakdown of her name and its origins can be seen on the right-hand side of the chalkboard; "Witch's Cauldron, Barbara Jagger - Baba Yaga - Bird Leg Cabin. Slavic Folklore". In folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural woman who has a terrifying physical appearance and shifty intentions, making it unclear whether she is hindering or helping people. She lives deep in the forest, living in a hut resting on chicken legs. While the final version of Bird Leg Cabin has some similarities to the lore that inspired it, early concept artwork of the cabin originally saw the building roaming around Bright Falls at night.

Concept artwork of Bird Leg Cabin.

There are also a mentions to "the brutal hateful editor/critic who defiles the artist's words", which matches her role exactly, as she manipulated Alan to write a world into existence; ("Wild Superstition - it's really happening. A creator (who made our world" Let their be light") where the Dark Presence would gain power. Even though Jagger was eventually destroyed in the original game's final moments, in the centre of the chalkboard someone has written "Dark Place. Dark Presence. - Dark Matter. Dark Energy. - 95% of our universe", a slight nod to Wake's final words in the original title, "it's not a lake, it's an ocean", implying that the writer will face a greater challenge in the potential sequel.

Alice. Alice Wake herself is mentioned quite frequently in the breakdown, with statements that feeds the contradicting views from the AW2 demo that she is both alive and dead. On the board she is also described as "the muse, but stronger than Alan. Fickle muse leaves him -> Crisis. She can survive without him. He cannot survive without her", and then "he banishes her in anger  -> regrets it". It's subjective about which moment the regret comes from, whether it's as he's walking away from Bird Leg Cabin as the lights go out, later when he's trapped within the Dark Place, or a hint at things to come.

Zane. Naturally with his importance to Bright Falls, Thomas Zane appears in the analysis with the researcher's overlapping views on the story's perspective, "writes about Wake. Alan Wake - writer -> writes about Zane. Who made who real? Eternal closed loop? -> Ouroboros."* Since the launch of the games, fans have been debating about whether either Alan or Zane were real or if one was the creation of the other in their work. Interestingly, as Zane could be seen to be predicting the events in Quantum Break in his poem "beyond the lake he calls home lies a deeper, darker ocean green where the waves are both wilder and more serene, to its ports I've been", it could be seen as evidence that either A) Alan could have kindled certain events in Riverport, B) that Zane was not just "created" for specific events in Bright Falls or that C) if one was the other one's fictional character, Zane could be the real deal.

*A nice little unrelated fact: Poets of the Fall's War (used in Alan Wake), Late Goodbye (used in Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne) and Can You Hear Me (used in the 2011 version of Death Rally) all appeared on the 2011 collection, Alchemy Vol 1, with the latter made exclusively for the album. The cover featured an image of an ouroboros.

Thomas Zane from the Alan Wake DLC pack, The Signal.

The researcher doesn't just look at whether specific characters are their own person, similarly, the chalkboard also features the comment "the dark place, mental space - "The Dark Place" pointing to the sketch of a man's head as well as "deep waters of the writer's subconscious mind". In the DLC packs, we explored the shifting terrain of Alan's mind and mental state as he fell deeper into despair, trapped in The Dark Place. In the final scene of The Writer, Alan retraces his steps back to Bird Leg Cabin and finds himself an out-of-body entity staring at his physical self loosing control. Another interpretation of the Dark Place is that it's less of a physical location and more of a state of mind, comparative to isolation or depression.

Hartman. Another character discussed on the chalkboard is Dr Emil Hartman, who runs the Cauldron Lake Lodge, an institution for artists but operated with.... less than honest intentions. During his forced stay at the lodge, Hartman tried to persuade Alan that his wife had died in an accident, and that he had become destructive following the news. While potentially a convincing argument given the sedatives Alan was given, the writer remains aware of the lies being told him almost immediately. "By turning his back to Dr Hartman's diagnosis, he accepts the reality of the Supernatural (ascend to become the hero) OR turns his back to the reality and embraces the madness (descend)" During his first night at the clinic, a storm rolls in on the horizon, cutting the power and letting loose the Dark Presence in the lodge's halls as the patients riot against management. While there's an argument that can be made that the Darkness finds Alan, it's his awareness of the actual events and of the threat that leads him to go against instructions to stay in his room and to escape. 

This House of Dreams

The A.W.E. Following the release of Alan Wake's American Nightmare, Sam Lake created a new blog under the name "Samantha". Set in the town of Ordinary (a location initially referenced in the reversed section of Balance Slays The Demon; "it will happen again, a town, called Ordinary"), Samantha has moved into the house of her dreams. After a few restless nights, she discovers a shoebox in her attic filled with poems. While originally believed to be a fan project, posted on the Remedy Forums by user TheAvenger72, the project was later confirmed to be a little more official. In Sam's Reddit AMA, he stated "some things are us just doing things because we love what we do. This House of Dreams was that to me. It was continuing the story of Wake's world, and just having fun with a small side project. I had the time of my life writing it and it was a wonderful change of pace from the big projects. The excitement and attention it got came as a total surprise to me. "

Screenshot from Quantum Break showing the AWE at Ground Zero.

While a small side project, the chalkboard in Quantum Break makes a very specific reference to Sam's blog with a note reading "This House of Dreams. Clues?" Beside it is the initialism, A.W.E. with various interpretations of the meaning "Alan Wake Experience" and "Altered World Events". While the "AWE" is referenced in Quantum Break and Control, it began life in This House of Dreams:

"In the dream, I heard the doorbell ring and went to open the door. There was a man there. He said he was a federal agent. He showed me his badge and all, just like the FBI agents do in the movies. Here comes the scary part: there was something wrong with his face; it was leaking inky smoke so that I couldn’t see what he looked like. When I woke up I realized that this image totally came from the ink-covered faces in the photos, of course (see the previous post). The man asked me about the shoebox. He said that it contains top-secret information and that I need to give it to him. I got scared that he’ll put me in jail and went to get the shoebox, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I searched the whole house but it was nowhere. Then I went to the bathroom to look for it, and saw myself in the mirror: my face was covered with inky smoke as well! And that’s when I woke up. When I think back about the dream, it didn’t say 'FBI' on his badge; it said 'AWE'." - Shoebox Dream, [2012/03/14]

A year prior to Quantum Break's launch, Remedy officially registered the trademark for "A.W.E." and "A.W.E - Altered World Events" with the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office), on 26th May 2015,  later confirmed in mid-August that same year. While it's referenced in Quantum Break, a Microsoft IP, Remedy holds the A.W.E. trademark, allowing it to return in the second Control DLC pack.

Hero's Journey. Another reference to an outside influence is the Hero's Journey. Initially theorised in 1871 by Edward Burnett Tylor, he recognised that most myths and stories can be broken down into a specific structure. This was later popularised by Joseph Campbell who published in his 1949 work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, leading him to often be credited with the structure.  While the chalkboard is the first "official" mention of the work stating, "Hero's Journey. 1) Departure [The 1st Manuscript"] 2) Initiation ? 3) Return [The 2nd manuscript]", Tylor's and Campbell's work made an earlier appearance in This House of Dreams with the same note is repeated on one of the found poems.

Photograph from This House of Dreams.

Other Media

In addition to the "A.W.E", prior to Quantum Break's launch, Remedy also filed another trademark for "Alan Wake's Return", the result was an Easter Egg located near the entrance to the university's physics building. Inside the tent, there's a TV which shows a short video clip for Alan Wake's Return with the phrase "to reach the surface you must first dive deeper", later repeated at the base of the chalkboard. Fans since have been curious about the Easter Egg, with some theorising that it's a parting gift to the series, similar to The Sudden Stop pages in Alan Wake. Whereas others believe that it shows Remedy's continued in continuing the series and a way of kindling interest.

Finally, we have one of my favourite mentions; close to "Alan Wake's Return" is a reference to the William Blake poem, Auguries of Innocence. Originally published in 1863, the poem is one which is frequently referenced in shows and books including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and Star Trek: Generations (1994). It was also later referenced in Quantum Break's early promotions including its reveal trailer, teasing the tagline "time is the fire in which we burn". Similarly, early advertisement for Alan Wake also featured an earlier line of the same poem, "some are born to endless night" which appears on the chalkboard. While it was later dropped for promotional material for the main game, the Alan Wake Novelisation by Rick Burroughs featured it on the cover, a nice link back to earlier work.


In Development

Quantum Break Series

Alan Wake Series

Max Payne Series



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