A sequel to Alan Wake isn’t the first thing on Remedy’s agenda, but it believes it can produce a second entry much faster than the first.
The very best horror stories leave some questions unanswered. How did Count Dracula come by his vampiric powers? Whatever happened to Dr. Frankenstein’s abominable creature? Will Alan Wake ever reunite with his wayward wife? We may never know the answers to the first two, but Remedy Entertainment is not averse to giving fans of psychological thriller Alan Wake some closure on the third – eventually. The Finnish studio doesn’t have any solid plans for Alan Wake 2 at present, but believes that advancing an existing story and gameplay engine will be easier than building them from scratch. Remedy expects that Alan Wake 2 will take much less time to produce, and that its experience making the Alan Wake: American Nightmare interlude will serve as a good lesson when the time comes.
Oskari “Ozz” Häkkinen, head of franchise development at Remedy, explains that the studio has come a long way since the days of Max Payne, when the developers thought that a single-game story arc would cover their bases. “For Alan Wake, we planned a little bit more ahead … [Remedy] had already created the fiction from the get-go to be something larger than just one game. [We] created it with a whole franchise and a whole universe in mind,” says Ozz. The company may have big plans for Wake, but between Max Payne 3 and Alan Wake: American Nightmare, it’s not ready to commit to a full sequel just yet. “[Alan Wake‘s direction is] a lot more thought out than Max Payne ever was, but at the same time we’ve got nothing to announce.”
While Ozz remained coy about the possibility of Alan Wake 2 already being in development for the next Xbox console, he seemed confident that Remedy could produce the game in far less time than it took the company to make the first one. “Development wise, five years is developing an engine, the tech, the tools, all of the things you need to do to do a story, a character, other NPC characters and so forth,” he remarked. “Without recycling much, we did [American Nightmare] in eight months, because a lot of the things were already locked down.” Ozz was a bit more concrete, however, on the possibility of Alan Wake or American Nightmare for PlayStation: “I know you’re never going to see [them].”
Given that Alan Wake is set for a PC release, and American Nightmare is just about ready to launch on XBLA, Remedy definitely wants to keep the IP in the public consciousness until a full sequel emerges. Until then, be sure to keep your flashlights handy and try not to wander around the misty forests of the Pacific Northwest when there’s a fatal curse lurking about.