Remedy Entertainment, it turns out, had a sequel planned for Alan Wake before things shifted toward their current project, Quantum Break, and development on the game had moved past simple planning sessions.
While full-steam development hadn’t begun yet, the team had been working on it since completing Alan Wake and had even put together a conceptual demo using a powered-up version of the engine that ran the first Alan Wake. Sam Lake, creative director at Remedy, spoke to Polygon at length, even providing the above video of the demo the studio was shopping around to various publishers.
While Max Payne wasn’t originally conceived as a series – and had many, many characters killed off throughout the first game as a result – Alan Wake was, according to Lake.
“We assumed there was going to be a sequel and we mapped things further out when it came to character, story, details and focus changes. We knew we would have to iterate and refine, but there was always a rough road map there,” Lake said.
The game expanded on the original, and the Alan Wake game that would’ve sprung from this demo never came to be, we did get to see some bits and pieces of it in Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. Remedy’s smaller downloadable take on the character introduced us to the embodiment of the darkness Wake fights against, Mr. Scratch. It expanded on the combat mechanics in substantial ways, too, making the original game’s combat fun enough and tight enough to work as a survival arcade game that came alongside the short campaign.
What we didn’t know at the time was that American Nightmare was Remedy telling us that Alan Wake 2 wasn’t going to happen.
The development of Alan Wake 2 eventually transformed into the studio’s current project, Quantum Break, a character-action game focused on time manipulation. With Alan Wake and Max Payne behind it, Quantum Break seems like an evolution of the ideas and mechanics Remedy was already honing.
Once Quantum Break releases in 2016, Sam Lake says, an Alan Wake sequel still isn’t out of the running. The Alan Wake 2 we’d see in 2018 or 2019 wouldn’t be the one the team was working on in 2011, as time away from the property has given them time to step back from the concept and think about it.
“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.”
Check out the full interview at Polygon for discussion of topics like Alan Wake‘s place in episodic gaming and more.