Why did Alan Wake 2 take 13 years to make? "It will not have been doable in earlier generations"

Kath Santarin
6 Min Read

Alan Wake 2 is lastly out, are you able to consider it? It is acquired all of it; wonderful model, a few of the finest graphics you have ever seen, and an fascinating story, in addition. Like the unique, Alan Wake 2 stands out from the pack – distinct from most of what else is on the market in the meanwhile. However after the success of the unique – and its simple ascent to ‘cult' standing – why did a sequel take so lengthy to make?

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“We have been planning on going straight to a sequel after the primary recreation,” Sam Lake, artistic director at Treatment Leisure, tells me in an interview. “We even had some concepts on what Alan Wake 3 could possibly be! However the business strikes like waves, and the main focus shifted from a writer perspective,” Lake states. “Getting funding wasn’t doable, as there was little interest in persevering with [Alan Wake] and doing a single participant expertise.”

The online game business, shortly after the discharge of Alan Wake, was one the place multiplayer was king. EA famously acknowledged that single participant video games have been lifeless, the identical 12 months Alan Wake launched. Legendary recreation developer Mark Cerny acknowledged at a GDC discuss in 2011 that single participant video games can be gone in three years, and this opinion did not vanish in a single day. Because the years glided by, studios maintained that the economics of conventional single participant releases have been sophisticated. The potential earnings of multiplayer experiences (and early micro-transaction centered content material) have been too seductive.

Alan Wake was the final out the door. Whereas Lake and his friends have been eager to make the subsequent entry within the title to sieze on the momentum of the primary recreation, the buyer urge for food did not align with Treatment's imaginative and prescient. This unusual atmosphere led the developer to create an entire new IP, leaving Alan Wake (fittingly) in the dead of night. “That led us to Quantum Break,” exclaims Lake. “On the time, Microsoft was trying into reside motion so much. We included that in our pitch for Alan Wake 2; my concept was to do episodes of reside motion in between recreation episodes. That they liked… and uh, that’s the one factor they liked (laughter).

“So we created a brand new idea round it. I went to my archives the place I had these concepts, and one was time journey – which we ended up going with. However at that time, it was very clear that with how issues had shifted, it was unattainable to get a cope with a writer the place they'd not find yourself proudly owning the IP. So, from the start, it was clear Quantum Break can be Microsoft’s IP – and we didn’t need to lose the Alan Wake IP.”

Alan Wake 2 has a really sturdy visible identification. | Picture credit score: Treatment Leisure

And rightly so. The distinctive launch of Alan Wake 2 has proved that Lake was proper to need to preserve maintain of the IP. And a big a part of what has pushed that success for the sport are the technical achievements inside – that sound design, the movement seize, and (importantly) the graphics.

“Visuals are all the time vital,” says Lake. “Mikko Kinnunen is our artwork director, and I completely love working with him. We have been trying into loads of stylised arthouse horror for inspiration. Fashionable issues in pictures – like flat area pictures in darkness. Making use of this layer of stylisation, particularly associated to the supernatural presence in [Alan Wake 2], I really feel actually actually good about. I additionally do love the layered expertise; you possibly can shift between these two worlds and these rooms of their heads. How instantaneous it's… it might not have been doable in earlier generations.”

As for the place this leaves Treatment and Alan Wake, the longer term appears to be like shiny for each. Not solely is the studio reportedly trying into future Management and Max Payne video games, Lake confirmed to me that concepts are flowing round find out how to construct upon Alan Wake as a franchise. “Yeah, for positive we’re pondering of constructing extra out of it. However possibly it’s too early to start out outlining any of these concepts…”

In the event you're anticipating extra Alan Wake 2, try our articles on the face of Max Payne, Sam Lake, on if he regrets utilizing his likeness within the video games, in addition to whether or not a triple-A darkish fantasy blockbuster be on the playing cards for Alan Wake 2 dev.

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