Alan Wake

The latest round of freebies from the Epic Game Store—This War of Mine and Moonlighter—are now yours for the taking, and yes, it's two games this week rather than the usual one. Epic explained last week that it's making two games free this time around to ensure that everyone gets at least one. 

This War of Mine is rated M (Mature), which means that it may not be accessible if the store's parental controls are engaged. The E-rated Moonlighter ensures that nobody goes away empty-handed, and Epic said at the time that, going forward, "we will also offer another free game that will be more accessible to players of all ages."

Epic also announced today that next week will be a two-fer freebie deal too, with For Honor and Alan Wake going up for grabs. The distinction between This War of Mine and Moonlighter is obvious enough, but I'll be honest, I had to check the ESRB website to find out which of next week's games is the lower-rated alternative pick: For Honor is a multiplayer combat game about bashing medieval bros in the face, while Alan Wake is a twisted psychological thriller about an author battling the shadowy agents of the Dark Presence as he searches for his missing wife and tries to unravel the mystery of a missing week.

The answer? Alan Wake is the family-friendly selection, rated T for "blood, language, use of alcohol and tobacco, [and] violence," while For Honor gets the big M for "blood and gore, [and] intense violence."

This War of Mine and Moonlighter are free until August 2, at which time For Honor and Alan Wake will go on the block until August 9.

Alan Wake

Alan Wake is a very Remedy kind of game: Interesting characters, weird story, beloved by fans, and not really a hit. It's been nine years since its original Xbox 360 release and more than seven since it came to PC, and there's no sign of a sequel—but writer Sam Lake told IGN that he still hopes to do one.

"I want to make it. It's a curious thing," he said. "At this point, so much time has passed. I feel that the bar is higher in some ways. It needs to be done right if it's ever done. Everything needs to click into place, which is really hard to make it happen. So many things, for these big games to be greenlit, need to be aligned. But I'm hoping that someday [it can be made]."

I would imagine that, for now, Remedy is pretty busy with Control, the dimension-warping action game with the weird, shapeshifting gun. Interestingly, Control actually came to be after Remedy started thinking about what Alan Wake 2 would look like. In the end, it decided that what it was working on didn't "quite feel like Alan Wake" and went on to create a new world while putting Alan Wake 2 on hold.

A different concept for an Alan Wake sequel was also created right after it released, and ideas from that concept eventually went into Alan Wake's American Nightmare, as well as Quantum Break. 

"I kind of feel, personally, that on and off, ever since the first game, I've been working on the sequel," said Lake. 

Couple Lake's interest in making a sequel with Remedy's reacquisition of the publishing rights to the series a few weeks ago and the prospect of a sequel is still distant but maybe not quite as far off as we thought. There's also an Alan Wake television show in the works.

Low-key interest in Alan Wake is persistent, and the videogame industry is built on sequels, so it's far from impossible. Although, funnily, Remedy hasn't done a sequel since Max Payne 2 in 2003. (Max Payne 3 was developed by Rockstar.) 

Alan Wake - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Working with publishers led the the novelist Alan Wake to flip his lid and get chased by ghosts or summat, so Big Al must be thrilled to escape his previous publisher contract. Alan Wake developers Remedy Entertainment have announced they’ve gained the publishing rights to the third-person spooker-shooters, which were previously held by Microsoft. This self-publishing seems more a happy consequence of old contract conditions rather than a sign that they’re planning to make a new one, but it should give them more power to do whatever they dang well please with Al.

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Alan Wake

Alan Wake, tortured novelist and big Stephen King fan, is back at home at Remedy now that publishing rights have reverted to the developer. Alan Wake, which launched more than nine years ago, was published by Microsoft, though Remedy owned the IP. 

Remedy also received around £2.2/$2.8 million in a one-time royalty payment for its previously published games, due to be paid during the second half of 2019. 

Alan Wake was quickly followed by the American Nightmare spin-off, but a sequel never appeared. Remedy did pitch one to Microsoft, but it didn't go beyond making a video for the publisher. Since then it's been busy with other projects—first Quantum Break, now Control. 

A TV adaptation is in the works, with Legion's Peter Calloway serving as showrunner, but it looks like that's as close as we'll get to a sequel in the near future. However, with Remedy now controlling both the IP and the publishing rights to the first game, there could be fewer obstacles now. 

Control is due out on August 27, and while it won't scratch your Alan Wake itch, flinging stuff around using telekinesis looks a bit more fun than cowering underneath lights and shooting at shadows. 

Alan Wake

UPDATE 2.30PM: Speaking to Eurogamer, Alan Wake developer Remedy has teased the possibility of a multiplatform release for its previously Microsoft-owned hero.

"The only thing we want to clarify, now that Remedy owns the publishing rights, is that we could bring Alan Wake to different platforms if we so choose," a Remedy spokesperson told me this afternoon.

"We have nothing to announce for now. We are fully focused on Control releasing on 27th August."

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Alan Wake

Alan Wake, released almost nine years ago, is exactly the sort of game you'd expect to get a sequel, and with developer Remedy showing off its latest game, Control, it's time once again to ponder the future of the paused series. I wouldn't hold your breath. 

If you cast your mind back to 2015, you might recall that Sam Lake, Remedy co-founder and writer, mentioned an Alan Wake 2 pitch that the studio had made to Microsoft, getting as far as putting together a "mood piece" video. Unfortunately, it didn't go further, and the studio's discussions around the sequel transformed into the time-bending TV show-game hybrid, Quantum Break. 

At the time, Lake was still hopeful about a sequel. "I would love to do that... it feels that time has only refined the ideas of what the sequel would be, which is great. It's almost, in some ways and on some level, that all of this extra time to think it about it has made it tastier and more exciting. Only time will tell."

Three years on and it looks like Alan Wake fans still have more years of waiting ahead of them. At PAX East, Remedy quickly dashed any hopes of Alan Wake announcements for at least a couple of years.

“We were working on Alan Wake 2 years ago and it just didn’t pan out, so there’s nothing—we’re just booked solid for the next couple of years, really,” Thomas Puha, director of communications, told VG24/7. “We do own the Alan Wake IP, but it’s never quite as simple as that, but yeah, we do own it.”

A TV show was announced last year, however, so there are still some things happening in the Alan Wake universe. Lake's executive producer, with Legion and Cloak and Dagger's Peter Calloway serving as showrunner. While TV and film adaptation of games are typically awful, Alan Wake at least seems like a good fit on paper, already mimicking the format of an episodic mystery. 

At least Remedy still owns the IP, so it won't languish with a publisher that's not really invested in it. Maybe we will see a sequel one of these days, but not anytime in the near future.

Alan Wake

Remedy Entertainment's cult supernatural horror Alan Wake has finally returned to digital storefronts on PC, a year after it was removed from sale due to licensing concerns.

Alan Wake's imminent departure from the likes of Steam was announced in May last year, following the expiration of its music licenses. Remedy explained it was "looking into relicensing the music for Alan Wake, but have no timeframe for this".

In a new tweet, however, the developer has confirmed that all licensing issues are now resolved, and that its beloved slice of small town horror is finally available for purchase again on PC. "Big thanks to our partner and Alan Wake's publishers Microsoft," Remedy posted, "who were able to renegotiate the rights to the licensed music in Alan Wake."

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Alan Wake - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

While a twist happy ending might undermine a horror story (I’m looking at you, Stephen King), it’s a greatly appreciated thing in games right now, and today’s pleasant twist: Alan Wake is back. Soundtrack fully intact and only a couple quid right now, too. Remedy’s spook’o-shooter was pulled from stores after its music licenses expired – killed by Roy Orbison. Fortunately developers Remedy have manged to wrangle things back together. The game is back on major stores and 80% discounted until Halloween, along with standalone expansion American Nightmare.

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Alan Wake

Remedy's spooky shooter Alan Wake, which was removed from Steam in May 2017 because of "expiring music licenses," is now back on the platform.   

"Big thanks to our partner and Alan Wake’s publishers @Microsoft who were able to renegotiate the rights to the licensed music in Alan Wake, so that the game can be sold again," Remedy said in a followup tweet. And yes, all the music from the original release is still in place.

Appropriately for the return and the season, Alan Wake is also on sale for 80 percent off—that's $3/£2/€3, or $1 more for the collector's edition—until November 1. 

(Update: It's also back, and on sale, on GOG.)

Here's one of the songs that apparently caused the trouble, courtesy of the one and only Roy Orbison: 

Alan Wake

Control, the next game from Alan Wake and Max Payne developer Remedy Entertainment, will also star Alan Wake voice Matthew Porretta and Max Payne actor James McCaffrey.

Porrette will play Dr. Casper Darling, head of research at the Federal Bureau of Control, while McCaffrey will play its former director Zachariah Trench.

The reunion of Remedy's former leading men was first announced earlier this month, but was made official over the weekend in this new developer diary:

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