Microsoft turned down Alan Wake 2 pitch with TV-style episodes for Quantum Break instead

Alan Wake 2 Set to Release in October After More Than 13 Years

After numerous delays and false starts, Alan Wake 2 is finally arriving this October, more than 13 years after the release of the original game. Developer Remedy Entertainment initially incorporated many of their ideas for the sequel into Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, a standalone spinoff that garnered a cult following on the Xbox Live Arcade.

Despite setbacks, Remedy continued to work on concepts for a full-fledged sequel while releasing other titles like Quantum Break and Control. Creative director Sam Lake revealed in an interview that both Quantum Break and Control began as ideas for Alan Wake 2. However, Microsoft initially rejected the idea of a linear single-player game, leading to the creation of Quantum Break, which featured live-action sections.

Here’s an American Nightmare deep-cut for you.

Lake recounted the challenges faced in pitching Alan Wake 2 to Microsoft and other publishers, noting that at the time, linear single-player games were considered a thing of the past. However, the idea of incorporating live-action elements intrigued Microsoft, leading to the birth of Quantum Break. Despite these obstacles, Remedy revisited the concept of Alan Wake 2 between projects and finally achieved their vision for the game.

Remedy director Kyle Rowley added that Control also originated as an Alan Wake 2 concept, further highlighting the interconnectedness of Remedy’s games. However, according to Lake, very little from those initial concepts made its way into the upcoming Alan Wake 2. While the game shares the same protagonist and setting, the plot and gameplay differ significantly.

Lake expressed his enthusiasm for the final version of Alan Wake 2, stating that he is glad they didn’t proceed with the previous ideas. Microsoft’s interest in the episodic aspect of the game is particularly noteworthy, considering the company’s emphasis on TV integration during the launch of the Xbox One. The recent court documents pertaining to Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard shed light on the company’s consideration of acquiring Remedy in the past. The decision to release Alan Wake 2 and the remastered edition on the Epic Games Store is listed as a “risk” in those documents.

It is evident that Microsoft has explored the possibility of acquiring various studios in recent years, including Sega and Bungie. In a separate interview, Remedy also explained their decision to release Alan Wake 2 as a digital-only title. Additionally, Lake shared the story of how acclaimed author Stephen King licensed a quote for the beginning of Alan Wake for just one dollar.