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Alan Wake 2: Will We Ever Get A Sequel?

Remedy Entertainment has produced a host of cult classics. Even when its games are not financially successful, they still find dedicated fan bases. The company entered the game development limelight with Max Payne, but for many gamers, nothing measures up to Remedy's magnum opus, Alan Wake.

While Alan Wake is essentially a survival horror title that stars the titular Alan Wake, it doesn't play like most survival horror games. It's a more action-filled experience and takes inspiration from Twin Peaks. The story is basically what would happen if Stephen King were trapped in an episode of The Twilight Zone, and he had to fight his way out of the show to survive. Oh, and he also wrote the episode.

Alan Wake might be a decade old, but gamers still wait (somewhat) patiently for the next installment. Remedy promised to continue the story of a war between light and darkness. Even though the company created a follow-up in the form of Alan Wake's American Nightmare, the game wasn't the true sequel fans wanted. 

Every day, Remedy seems to stray further away from the beloved game. Or does it? Is an Alan Wake 2 waiting in the wings? The answer is a definitive "maybe."

Remedy now fully owns the Alan Wake IP

Game developers rarely handle publishing duties, and Remedy Entertainment is no exception. Its first big break, Max Payne, was published and is owned by Rockstar Games, while Remedy's latest title, Control, was published by 505 Games. Alan Wake and American Nightmare, meanwhile, came about thanks to a partnership between Remedy and Microsoft. The titles were Xbox 360 exclusives before eventually jumping to PC.

Even though Remedy created Alan Wake, Microsoft had the final say in Alan Wake 2's production. But then disaster struck: music licenses for Alan Wake expired, so it had to be removed from all digital storefronts. The franchise seemed dead in the water, but a faint glimmer of hope appeared when the game returned to Steam and Xbox. To add to the good news train, Remedy gained all publishing rights to Alan Wake in 2019.

Now, Remedy has custody of its baby, so nothing can stop the company from self-publishing another Alan Wake game if it wanted. Well, maybe money might be a factor, but given the Alan Wake fanbase, that's nothing a good crowdfunding campaign can't fix.

Alan Wake and Control seem to take place in the same universe (or multiverse)

Expanded universes are a hot entertainment commodity. The same might apply to video games, but the prospect faces a near insurmountable hurdle because of Easter eggs. Is a reference to a pre-existing game made by the same studio an inconsequential reference or a window into a bigger universe and continuity? Given Remedy Entertainment's weird sense of humor, the line between the two is blurry. Unless, of course, you're talking about a game where reality breaks down every five minutes.

Remedy's latest titles, Control, takes place in the labyrinthine (and possibly sentient) halls of the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC). Throughout the game, you find "paranatural" items that basically turn physics into tapioca pudding, as well as documents of events, objects, and locations that aid in world building. And, wouldn't you know, some of these items and documents are ripped straight from Alan Wake.

These references seem like more than just Easter eggs. Moreover, Alan Wake himself makes a guest appearance in Control as a well-hidden secret. Heck, Control even goes so far as to state that the pages Alan wrote glow in the dark, which is a mechanic in Alan Wake.

Remedy clearly has Alan Wake on the brain. Even when the company isn't developing Alan Wake 2, it is sowing the seeds for the game. Only time will tell if Alan Wake 2 involves the FBC and an evil fridge.

Remedy actually worked on an Alan Wake 2 prototype

It's all well and good that gamers want the Alan Wake saga to continue, but is it worth asking for such a gift if the developers don't want to create the game? Thankfully, Remedy's creative director (and the man who serves as the face of Max Payne in the first Max Payne game), Sam Lake, has stated quite plainly that the studio wants to revisit Alan Wake in the future. More importantly, Lake isn't blowing smoke with this claim.

In 2015, Polygon released a whopping thirteen minutes of Alan Wake 2 concept gameplay. The video shows off the game's themes, mood, and, most importantly, quality of life improvements. While the demo's setting probably wouldn't have been reflective of the final product, the video demonstrates potential new puzzle mechanics and enemy tactics, abilities, and animations. That's a good thing because the original Alan Wake features a distinct lack of enemies who can rip doors off cars and use them as shields.

When you examine Remedy's continued love and references to the Alan Wake name, combined with prototypes that test how to drive the series forward, Alan Wake 2 seems like a matter of when, not if. That is, discounting the possibility that reality is torn asunder and every member of the Remedy team becomes an unwilling host to the same darkness that is depicted in the first game.