Alan Wake is one of my favorite Xbox 360 games. With the news hitting the Internet that Remedy Entertainment acquired the rights to the IP, I’m beyond thrilled. My excitement stems from the fact that we may finally get a sequel to the 2010 horror title. While I’ve spent awhile jumping up and down, one company definitely lost from the deal, and that’s Microsoft. Let’s be real, Microsoft wasn’t using Alan Wake, so Remedy getting the IP is a win for most gamers. Unfortunately, as a fan of Microsoft’s consoles, I feel that this is ultimately a loss for fans of the brand.
Microsoft needs games
Nintendo and Sony both excel when it comes to the games on its consoles. While the PlayStation 4 doesn’t have many exclusives this year, the entire generation has been stellar for Sony’s powerful machine. Nintendo, on the other hand, is consistently killing it with must-own video games. This year alone saw the releases of New Super Mario U. Deluxe, Yoshi’s Crafted World, and, Super Mario Maker 2. We also have Astral Chain, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Daemon X Machina, and the Pokemon games to look forward to. Having Gears 5 and Battletoads coming out this year is excellent, but it’s another relatively weak year for Xbox.
Microsoft is making moves by investing in the next generation. The company acquired Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Undead Labs, Obsidian, Double Fine, and founded The Initiative. The seeds have been planted for some time now, but we’re playing a waiting game. That, unfortunately, leaves fans as well as other consumers at an impasse.
We’re looking forward to things that are far away. Microsoft must bring new titles, and while there are many Gears and Halo games, Alan Wake never got the spotlight it deserved.
People love Alan Wake
Okay, when you think of the Xbox “Mount Rushmore,” Alan Wake probably wouldn’t be cemented as a pillar of the brand. Master Chief, Marcus Phoenix, Banjo, and a sportscar would probably take those spots. That’s a shame since Alan Wake is one of the freshest and most unique games in Microsoft’s catalog. Xbox gamers are used to shooters and racers. When people think of Xbox, Halo and Forza usually come to mind. Alan Wake provided Xbox owners with something new upon its launch in 2010. It gave players a memorable, genuinely scary game, with an intriguing edge-of-your-seat narrative. Almost a decade after its release, Alan Wake still feels original, influential, and unlike many games on the market today.
Will an Alan Wake sequel be a console seller? There’s no way that a new game would make units fly off store shelves, but fans are how a sequel would thrive. We live in the streaming age. Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube are more prevalent than ever. Through word of mouth and streaming, a sequel to Alan Wake could be a surefire hit in the modern gaming climate. As someone who has been influenced to buy games because of a streamer, the horrific nature of the Alan Wake universe, and the episodic structure make a sequel seem like a no brainer in 2019.
Another nail in the coffin with their relationship with Remedy
Microsoft never owned Remedy Entertainment, but there is no denying the great partnership between the two companies. Between Alan Wake, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare and Quantum Break, the Xbox brand was host to fantastic Remedy experiences. So when Control was announced as a multiplatform game, I was taken aback. The awesome relationship seemingly came to an end, with Control having marketing rights on PlayStation 4. If Alan Wake 2 comes to fruition, it will most likely be multiplatform, which is not something that Microsoft needs. The company should be making as many deals as possible, and with an iconic game like Alan Wake in its portfolio, you would think Microsoft would do everything to keep it.
Conclusion: A move by Microsoft that makes no sense at all
I’ll keep saying this, Remedy Entertainment acquiring the Alan Wake IP is great news for fans of the game. As someone who has been clamoring for a sequel since 2010, the thought of a new installment is exciting. As a proud Xbox owner, Microsoft giving up the IP is perplexing. It’s no secret that Microsoft lost this generation. Everything is pointing to Scarlett and the new studios in the Microsoft wheelhouse. We don’t know what the company had planned for Alan Wake but giving up the IP was not the way to go. If an Alan Wake sequel goes multiplatform, it’s another missed opportunity for the brand. Exclusivity is one of the pillars of survival. Remedy is already working with Sony to promote Control, and I think the same thing will happen with a new Alan Wake. For a company that is looking to win the next generation, giving up an IP to one of the best Xbox 360 games, and a huge fan favorite is a huge step in the wrong direction.