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Remedy: Alan Wake missing PS3 was a “business” and “technological” decision

Friday, 25th March 2011 21:29 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Remedy CTO Markus Maki has said that the firm’s decision to sign an exclusivity deal with Xbox 360 was a “business risk,” that took the “big technological effort, the PS3, out of the equation.”

Speaking with CVG, Maki said the game was originally planned for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, but Microsoft’s offer was a bit too good to pass up, despite the worry of a reduced market.

“Our strategy was one of focus,” said Maki. “That’s actually a really core Remedy element, well if you forget the ambitious goals we had. We needed to be top notch in some areas, but we knew we couldn’t do everything better than some developers out there. For example, this meant there was no multiplayer. That wasn’t in our core set of skills and it would have been a huge effort.

“We also took the approach to license middleware that made sense, even when we didn’t end up using it all for one reason or another. And then, the big deal – to go with Microsoft and take one big technological effort, the PS3, out of the equation. That then changed the technology risk to a business risk – but that’s a subject for a different talk altogether…”

Maki also said Remedy thought of ditching the Alan Wake engine at one time and switching to Unreal.

“We looked at Unreal and other technologies out there, but this was actually before the PS3 and Xbox 360 were ever even released,” he said. “We also had all three platforms planned in the beginning – PC, 360 and PS3. I think it’s safe to say now overly optimistic view of the schedule. At that point, we didn’t dare commit to shipping a game on third-party tech until the developers of that tech had shipped a game on each of those platforms.

“Five years later, [I'll admit] that the reasoning wasn’t solid because these guys beat us to the punch easily.”

Still, Maki said Remedy is pleased with the engine it created and what it can do.

Alan Wake 2 is speculated to be in development. The PC version of Alan Wake was canceled.

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37 Comments

  1. onlineatron

    Lets hope, with all the technology/platform guff out of the way, Remedy can make the sequel (should there be one) more varied and fun to play.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Stardog

    I’m glad it didn’t sell well. They screwed over the PC crowd.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Wesker

    @1: Well, I liked the gameplay. There are a lot of games that aren’t varied. ;)

    @2: *yawn* Yeah … I guess we’re over that. :D

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Jaxel

    And to think… if they had released it on the PS3, they could have caught the “artsy” crowd; people who like games like Heavy Rain and other fantastic story driven games. A crowd that at this point, doesn’t really exist on the 360.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DocCylon

    @4: I had wondered this. The 360 croud has never struck me as being particularly receptive to this sort of game. Naturally there are some but I think you’re more likely to find that sort of gamer on the PS3 or PC. That’s not to say that there aren’t that sort of gamer on 360, but it reflected in the sales figures. 145 K in two weeks isn’t exactly sequel numbers.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Erroneus

    I loved Alan Wake, it’s pretty much the only game I played on my 360 in 2010. The choice to go 360 only was a huge mistake, because as #4 and #5 correctly stated, the buyers for this kind of a game, simply doesn’t exist among the 360 owners.

    Every time I get the chance to recommend Alan Wake to a 360 owner, I do it, with a hope that it one day we will see Alan Wake 2 and hopefully on “all” platforms.

    At least the game did sell over a million, so it wasn’t a complete failure, but I’m sure Microsoft Game Studios and Remedy Entertainment expected more, specially Microsoft, which was hoping for Alan Wake to be a console seller.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Aimless

    Why do people constantly segregate PS3 and 360 owners? The best selling game on both is still CoD: the audiences aren’t really any different.

    Anyway, I hope Remedy get to make a sequel to Alan Wake. The game’s a bit one-note but that’s exactly the kind of thing another attempt could smooth over.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. TheWulf

    @4: Looking at the independent scene and the sorts of games that are popular for the PC, that applies to the PC about 10 times as much as it does to the PS3. Granted, the PS3 is a step up, but it’s still not on the level of art appreciation that seems to be common on the PC.

    Then again, that art appreciation might be due to how the PC is indeed home to strange independent projects, modders, and so forth.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. monkeygourmet

    I thought Alan Wake was fantastic. The characters and voice acting were really fun, very similar to a twilight zone / Stephen King story…

    I strongly recommend everyone picking it up as it’s prob next to nothing second hand now.

    I wasn’t too much of a fan of the dlc though, seemed like rehasing of old scenarios from the single player.

    Makes me wish Clive Barker could make a game based on the Book of Blood stories! maybe episodic downloadable survival horror! :)

    #9 3 years ago
  10. HighWindXIX

    Alan Wake sequel on PS3. Please and thank you.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Jaxel

    #7 I’m not the one segregating 360 and PS3 owners… the consoles themselves are what that has done that. The 360 tends to have a more “masturbatory” range of gaming. What do I mean by that? 360 games tend to be more about instant gratification; I’m not saying thats a bad thing, games are about fun… and 360 games are more about “lets have fun, and lets have it now!”.

    The PS3 on the other hand has a more dynamic range of genres; yes, it does have it’s own share of “masturbatory” games (most are multi-platform), but at the same time, Sony also puts a lot of effort into funding new IPs and experimental “artsy” titles like Heavy Rain. These games take time to be fun (sometimes they aren’t even fun at all, but are instead designed to tell a story or exclaim a message), and really are only fun to the more “mature” gamers.

    These types of games simply aren’t common the 360, so the 360 hasn’t garnered the attention of this type of fanbase. The decision to put Alan Wake on the 360 is like saying “lets put this artsy title into a market that only cares about masturbation”. When it comes down to it, I’m sure the PS3 audience would have been more open minded to Alan Wake than the 360 audience was (wasn’t).

    #11 3 years ago
  12. gdogg979

    Fav 360 exclusive last year.

    its currently £8.99 on amazon,if you don’t but it for that then you don deserve to call yourself a gamer and shame on you.

    heres the link so you have no excuse

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-Alan-Wake-Xbox-360/dp/B000E52P9A/ref=pd_ts_vg_h__11?ie=UTF8&s=videogames

    #12 3 years ago
  13. freedoms_stain

    I think they’re dumbfucks tbh.

    They should’ve kept making the game they were originally working on instead of scrapping it and building the turd they ended up with.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. osric90

    I played it, finished it and got dissapointed as HELL. Sorry but I don’t know how people like that game and EVEN compare it to the great Silent Hill 2. Alan Wake is boring, uninspired, full of cliché (which is bad due to them being undesired and not funny at all like in other obvious games) and it’s built of classic American horror movies parodies. Please, Remedy get back to games that actually mean something and have more than 4 enemies and tornadoes as bosses.

    Oh, and Alan Wake is the only worst writer I know besides the writer of the game. I’m not a Xbox 360 hater like some people here, really, trust me those $45 plus shipping didn’t worth it. Stay away from Alan Wake if you don’t want to be dissapointed and you’ve been waiting for it since the very first images and cool ideas.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. G1GAHURTZ

    Aimless is right.

    The only difference in the games available for both are a handful of exclusives, and games sell in similar figures on both platforms.

    I’m also pretty sure that if Sony released a PSN ‘most played’ chart, it’d look almost identical to XBL’s, with the top game in each genre being played in similar percentages.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. guapo

    I paid something like $20 for Alan Wake like 3 months ago and I can honestly say it was one of the cheapest, best experiences I’ve recently had. I don’t know about full price, but I definitely enjoyed the game. As far as the console segregation debate is concerned, there shouldn’t be one. Heavy Rain does not make the ps3 “artsy”. There are an equal number of obnoxious pricks on both psn and xbl. Actually the ratio of assholes to non-assholes on psn is probably higher because there are less players with mics and just as much rudeness and blatant racism.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DaMan

    Silent Hills were no better than this game either, it’s that they came out at the right time when people weren’t fed with horror games yet..

    funny to say one is better than the other really, when they’re both two sides of the same coin.. it shows nothing but absolute disrespect to one country’s culture or the other, since both are two takes on the same idea of the game. it’s like stating Resident Evil was better than Alone in the Dark.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Jaxel

    #15, we’re not talking about “most played”; most played will always be the same, as those “masturbatory” type games I mentioned in my previous post are more popular. What I’m saying is that while maybe only 5% of the fan-base of the 360 would be interested in a game like Alan Wake or Heavy Rain, there may be somewhere more like 15-20% of the fan-base for the PS3 that would be interested.

    This is clearly seen with the sales comparison of Heavy Rain VS Alan Wake. Most reviews I have seen say Alan Wake is better, but Heavy Rain sold almost double that of Alan Wake; on a platform that has a marginally smaller install base. You can say all you wan’t that the PS3 has less games to chose from, and thats why the game sold so much, but you would be wrong.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Gadzooks!

    Alan Wake was a fantastic game. The only games to come close to the tension and atmosphere of Alan Wake are Dead Space 1 and 2.

    Also, no there is no difference between the average PS3 and 360 owner as there is no difference in the range of genres on the platforms. There is that perception on forums, however in reality sales and playtime of multiplatform games vastly outstrip those of exclusives, and multiplats sell similarly on both consoles.

    The artsy games still sell very well on 360, they just tend to be more on XBLA than retail release.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. DaMan

    I like that kind of logic, one SP game outsold the other, so it must be that there’re more people playing SP titles.

    and indeed, why is it that Braid was a success? or Limbo for that matter? oh snap.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Galactic_Barret

    Oh, ya, lets compare $10-15 downloads to packaged retail titles. Makes sense.

    Still, for the sake of argument, anyone remember viva piñata? BK:n&b? MS’ only real “experimental” games tanked and got yanked. Kinect is doing that work now, I guess.

    LBP is the most successful experiment out of Sony, and it was a new IP.

    Believing the PS3 niche audience is bigger shouldn’t be looked at with such skepticism. Its titles prove as much; you can’t take everything away from it, throw it a bone.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. DaMan

    er, it makes way more sense than to point out some cherry picked game which performed better, might as well give some examples from Japan.

    funny, LBP is an absolutely community oriented title, it’s appeal goes back to things like level editors and modding..

    I don’t think it ‘s true at all.. perhaps only if you take into account Asia which largely ignores the 360. yet to see any real evidence that proves otherwise.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Shonak

    In the list of most downloaded titles for Xbox 360 Alan Wake was at second place; more units downloaded than sold. I don’t think that the crowd is wrong, in fact xbox 360 users enjoy a lot of artistic indie-titles. Mostly Alan Wake just didn’t sell too well because there was just an overflow of games in the two quartals last year. RDR is just one thing, there were countless other games. Heavy Rain was by the way mostly sold because it looked so innovative. It’s not so artistic, once you look beyond the more or less innovativ gameplay.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Gekidami

    lol Why are people calling Alan Wake “artsy”? Its an average survival horror game like many others. Its not ‘niche’ its not original, and its certainly not artistic.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Ge0force

    @23 Alan Wake was designed to be an innovative open-world game, but the result was an average monotone action game.

    The game was more pirated thru torrents than copies sold. And cancelling the pc-version was a backstab for pc-gamers that made Remedy big.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    I think one should look at demographics when trying to look for differences between xb360 and PS3 owners. JP, EU, NA gamers are often drawn to slightly different kinds of game experiences.

    There is a wide common ground imo. But PS3 gamers may well be drawn to classic SP experiences more then xb360 gamers. Would be hard to say without hard figures and charts. But I played Alan Wake, and would have to say I think it would have had stronger sales on PS3. It just reminded me of a semi updated PS2 game. It was decent but nothing that was going to set sales charts on fire.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. KBST

    @25

    “cancelling the pc-version was a backstab for pc-gamers that made Remedy big”

    Oh, poor master-race. You obviously don’t know that Remedy always prefered to stay small. I would’ve loved to see a PC version of Alan Wake, didn’t stop me from playing the 360 version though. You know why? Because I love the studio, I don’t give a shit about the platform. Even without the obvious PC-advantages, it’s a beautiful game.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Shonak

    @25: “@23 Alan Wake was designed to be an innovative open-world game, but the result was an average monotone action game.”

    No, they have already said more than enough times that they planned it as Open World, but soon they realised (like 6 months into production) that it didn’t work with the story they intented. They also changed a lot the original ideas and so forth. After all, they decided for a game they could make and know how to make, because they had already experience with linear, emotional enhancing and stylish games, see Max Payne 1 & 2.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. LOLshock94

    the horror genre doesnt exist in the 360 community?

    dead space 2 sold more on 360 then the ps3 version you retards

    and you got to remember alan wake was againest red dead redemption so you cant blame anyone but rockstar for the lack of sales

    #29 3 years ago
  30. bluffbluff03

    @ 4 Thats bullshit. Xbox/PS3 Owners are totally similar. First, all of them play CoD. Second, Heavy Rain was reviewed much better than Alan Wake. A better game, sells better. There were not that much stroy driven games in the last times. But all of them (if they released for PS3 and 360) sold exactly the samen on both consoles. So stop saying the 360ers are not receptive for good stories or in others words: they just want to shoot around without thinking about any background or deeper sense.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. LOLshock94

    @4 last time i checked mass effect 2 had an awesome story and sold extremely well compared to the ps3 version….

    #31 3 years ago
  32. Naaame

    They sold out other markets =[

    Glad it didn’t sell well also. They can keep their sequel if they ever make one.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. Galactic_Barret

    Okay, what about Demon’s Souls? Or Valkyria Chronicles? I would think LBP was a niche title simply because of its genre; Platformers without the Nintendo seal tend to tank.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. Ge0force

    @27 Not every gamer has the luxury to buy every gaming platform. Alan Wake was announced, shown and promoted for the pc. It’s just lame to make it an x360 exclusive a few months before the release. You can’t blame pc-owners for being angry with that. If Epic decides to make Gears 3 exclusive for pc next month, x360 owners would be furious too.

    @28 I meant “planned”, sorry English is not my native language. :) Alan Wake’s level-design still feels like it was meant to be open world imo.

    #34 3 years ago
  35. 2plus2equals5

    Too bad, probably i would have bought it.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Shonak

    @34: That’s because they kept the landscape and everything. In “All your History: Remedy Part 2″ a guy of Remedy explains it pretty good. A ingame mountain or forest in the far just looks better when you could visit it, and thereby it gets modeled, rather than just see something in the distance which you know you won’t go to (e.g. Uncharted 2 at the Himalya Village, Halo Reach with those mountains in the back in the beginning, etc.). I don’t remember his words excatly but just check out the episode of All Your History at Machinima, it’s definitely worth a look as is the whole series. They kept the tech but build a linear game around it. I think it was the right decision because Remedys strong points were always writing, immersion and atmosphere; something that would have been much harder to achieve in an open world game.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. nielsthomas1

    If it weren’t for 2010 being a great year in gaming (and me buying a lot of older games), this would have been my favorite of last year. But ME2, Batman:AA, AC:B and L4D2 are keeping it from that position.

    I got the collectors edition standing on my bookshelf.
    This reminds me of having to play through the game again.

    #37 3 years ago

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