The first Alan Wake released in the same week (and on the same day in North America) in 2010 as Red Dead Redemption, a game that would sell many millions of copies and eventually spawn a sequel in 2018. Alan Wake was not as fortunate, but did spawn a legion of fans that has only grown in the ensuing decade. Control‘s AWE DLC teased Alan Wake’s return, which was solidified when Remedy Entertainment officially announced Alan Wake 2 at The Game Awards. And according to Creative Director Sam Lake, that continued fan support was invaluable.
Speaking with IGN, Lake talked about the support the game has seen since its release, something that had been growing in conjunction with social media, too.
“[Fan support was] really really important,” Lake said. “I mean, we have awesome fans and the amount of social media over all the possible channels, the amount of times it has been, ‘Alan Wake 2?’ or capital letters, ‘ALAN WAKE 2 CONFIRMED’ as a reaction to anything, pretty much. But also clearly, more heartfelt deeper love shown to us with Alan Wake. It has been a constant thing and in some ways, obviously social media has been evolving through the years as well, but in some ways, I feel that that has been just growing in volume as we’ve gone forward.”
This isn’t the only Alan Wake 2 Remedy has tried to make. A Polygon feature in 2015 detailed some of the game that never came out. Lake also talked more about that ill-fated version and how that relates to this actually announced one slated for 2023.
“The very early version that we were working on immediately after the first game, we kind of made a demo version of that as a video that went public, even,” he said. “And some of those elements back then ended up being part of Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. I mean, obviously that was a very small project, so [it was] scaled down but some of those ideas landed there. So not much of that, going back that far, remains in this one. Certain elements, of course, but it has evolved through the years, which is a luxury in a way, looking at it now that those early versions didn’t end up going forward. I feel really good about it like now that we finally are making it, to have had this time to think about it, to really kind of look at it and think about it and evolve it.”
Evolution, in this case, means changing genres. Lake briefly mentioned that Alan Wake 2 was a survival horror game instead of an action game with horror elements like the original during his stage time at The Game Awards. He went more into detail, saying it was a great marriage of the game’s narrative and gameplay.
“It’s been part of the journey very much so and we at Remedy are feeling vey excited about it,” he explained. “It’s bringing in a lot of fresh, exciting, new ideas. Like the original game did have horror elements, but it was an action game. And for anything to do with Alan Wake, we feel that the story is very central, this horror story. And then we’ll be looking at what games genre would be something where we could have the story and the gameplay tie together closer than ever before. And it just clicked into place in a very exciting way, that survival horror, like let’s do Remedy’s take on a survival horror game.”
The game is still far away and means Lake wasn’t able to give more gameplay specifics and wouldn’t even confirm if the game was a third-person game or not. However, the game will be M rated, which he said was “liberating” as Remedy wouldn’t have to compromise or censor itself in finding the most “true and exciting” way to tell the story.