Remedy writer and original Max Payne face Sam Lake explains why there's no Alan Wake 2 but says the studio still hopes to make it "when the time is right."
Sam Lake is Remedy's go-to guy for words, writing the scripts for Max Payne, Max Payne 2 and Alan Wake, but he's perhaps more recognizable (in the "hey, it's that guy" sense) as the original face of Max Payne: Because Remedy couldn't afford to hire actors for the first game, employees at the studio filled the roles, including Lake as Max himself.
Max Payne slipped out of Remedy's grasp years ago, but the studio bounced back in 2010 with the Xbox 360-exclusive "psychological action thriller" Alan Wake. But it wasn't a hit, and while it's done reasonably well for itself in the years since, especially after its release on PC last year, there's just not enough demand to justify a sequel.
"After the first game, we worked hard to make the sequel happen. But you know, these games are huge undertakings and many things need to fall into place: the right partners and the funding," Lake explained in a message on YouTube. "From the creative perspective, it would be awesome if we could just create cool stuff and not worry about minor details like money. But we all know that that's not the case."
"Alan Wake... was not a huge hit on day one. It has been doing really well since then, it's become a cult classic, which is really nice. The Alan Wake franchise has moved more than three million copies since, which is a nice figure, but when the game was released that was not the case immediately and even though we worked hard on it, the sequel was not happening," he continued. "Sure, we could have gone ahead and created something less ambitious but we felt that wouldn't have done justice to you guys, to us - we want to be really proud of everything we create - and certainly wouldn't have done justice to Alan Wake."
While there was no apparent interest in Alan Wake, Remedy was able to secure full backing for Quantum Break, a brand-new IP that Lake said may be "the ultimate Remedy experience." Even so, that doesn't mean that Mr. Wake is gone and forgotten.
"[Alan] Wake is really dear to me and to everyone at Remedy. We knew from the beginning that when Wake ends up in the dark place, getting out from there is going to be a long, hellish journey, and a hard struggle. Where we are now is fiction becoming reality," he said. "We definitely want to keep on working on Alan Wake. I definitely want to create something new for Alan Wake when the time is right."
That has to be encouraging for fans. And here's another bit of good news, in case you missed it: The Alan Wake Collector's Edition, Alan Wake's American Nightmare and assorted other Alan Wake goodies are available in a pay-what-you-want Humble Bundle sale that runs until May 29.