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20th April 2013
Rumours! Launch Title? In Development?

Fortunately my crazy must-get-all-coursework-finished rush doesn’t coincide with hobbies and Remedy’s news schedule that much, however that does mean that it’s been quite quiet. Yesterday however was a slightly different matter. Usually in the gap between announcements there’s a period of time in which anything and everything is possible...Yes, it’s time for rumours. Now I’ve got to be honest, the rumour section of any game’s development is not really my favourite time, because some of these rumours are pretty pessimistic and I prefer Remedy to have a say over facts regarding their titles and not games journalists on slow news days. And gaming websites do seem to like rumours as much as Oprah likes bees. Nevertheless, two new rumours have began to circulate this week, and since I’ve finished all of my coursework (w00t!) now is the perfect time to look closely at this.

FIRST RUMOUR: Alan Wake is not in development...
Source: SuperDAE
Discussion: Remedy Forums

SuperDAE is a hacker and is probably best known for his attempts at selling the Durango (next XBOX) kit on eBay. According to a Twitter reply, he has managed to see what Remedy is working on and announced “Alan Wake 2 is not in development”. He expands on what he’s apparently found in a later tweet, explaining it’s a shooter for the next XBOX and PC. 

I’m pretty convinced that this isn’t the case, for quite a few reasons. SuperDAE may be a hacker but it seems that he also plays up to that image; you wouldn’t really want to have a reputation and not live up to. If you want to read more about him, Kotaku has a pretty good article.

It’s not really a big stretch to say that Remedy is making a game for the XBOX and PC. The PC sales for the original title were extraordinary and they managed to regain the title’s development costs in less than 48 hours. Additionally, PC gaming is part of Remedy’s heritage, and it’s something they really pushed for and wanted to do for the AW franchise! In an interview with Electronic Theatre, Oskari said that Alan Wake will never come to PS3 as they have a good relationship with Microsoft and while Remedy owns their own IP, they see it “
very definitely an Xbox 360 exclusive.” If SuperDAE saw the game’s details and read that it will be on those specific consoles...It leans more on the side that the next title is Alan Wake related.

Also, how would you describe Alan Wake’s American Nightmare? While the series started out being psychological horror, the arcade spin off isn’t dipping into that genre as much. The focus was put on the combat mechanics; there were more Taken added and a more varied array of weapons. With the new features you could also describe it as a shooter as well as a psychological horror title.

In addition to that, Remedy’s developing team is split into two groups, “Next Big Thing” and “Digital”. Next Big Thing handles the AAA titles, your Alan Wakes and Max Paynes, whereas Digital makes your Death Rally! It’s also not that rare for iOS titles to make it to PC and XBOX, Rovio did that with Angry Birds. And Remedy has mentioned in the past that they’re looking to expand on the success of Death Rally and look at potential new IPs made by the iOS team.

But what makes this rumour seem implausible is the time taken for Remedy’s development process. If Remedy is planning on releasing it on PC and the next XBOX, we can safely assume it’s an AAA title. If we look at Remedy’s AAA title development process:

Max Payne - (1996-2001) - Five years to develop - New IP
Max Payne 2 - (2001-2003) - Two years to develop - Building on current IP
Alan Wake - (2003-2010) – Seven years to develop - New IP
Alan Wake's American Nightmare (2010-2012) - Two years to develop - Building on current IP

One thing is for certain; Remedy is not the kind of developers who release games before it’s ready and the same goes for their research process. If the team were working on a new IP, they wouldn’t be announcing a new IP so close to the release of an AAA title or arcade game. It’s not impossible but it’s very unlikely. 

SECOND RUMOUR: Alan Wake will not be a launch title...
Discussion: Remedy Forums

To be honest, out of the two rumours, this one seems the most plausible, but still I have my doubts. We know two things for certain; 1) Microsoft is working on the next XBOX and b) Remedy is announcing something this year. It sounds like a perfect coincidence!

You’ve also got the fact that Alan Wake is a console exclusive title, and that Remedy has stated in the past that “Alan Wake will never come to PS3”. The interview was with the developer’s Franchise Director and it took place after American Nightmare was released. Unless there’s been a major shift in Remedy’s focus these last 12 months, it’s still relevant.

It’s still possible that it might not be, after all the developers have the “it will be released when it’s ready” policy to ensure the best game they can make. However if they’re announcing something this year than it kind of implies that they have a target release date in mind. 

But for now, we really just have to wait and see if these rumours are true or not. Hopefully they can be resolved by the end of the year. I’ll keep you updated! 


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