In a world where digital gaming is increasingly becoming the norm, Remedy Entertainment has confirmed that the eagerly anticipated Alan Wake 2 will be a digital-only release. The move is aimed at maintaining the cost at a reasonable $59.99 USD for console versions and $49.99 USD for the PC version, thus making the game more accessible to gamers worldwide.
Set to launch globally on October 17, 2023, Alan Wake 2 will be available for PC on the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. Because Epic is publishing, no, it will not be available on Steam. This decision to skip a disc-based release aligns with the evolving trends in the gaming industry, where leading gaming consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series S offer digital-only variants.
One reason for this shift towards digital releases is the industry-wide move towards digital purchases. With many gamers now preferring to buy and download games digitally, the move by Remedy makes sense. Additionally, releasing a digital-only version allows the developers to sidestep the logistical challenges and costs of physical production and distribution.
Moreover, this digital strategy ensures a seamless experience for gamers who, in the case of a disc-based release, would typically have to download additional game content. Remedy believes that requiring a download in addition to using a physical disc would not offer an optimal gaming experience.
For now, there are no plans for a disc-based version of Alan Wake 2, as Remedy focuses on delivering a digital game that lives up to, and possibly surpasses, fans' expectations. The company plans to offer two versions: the Standard Edition, which includes the base game, and the Deluxe Edition, offering exclusive content like the Expansion Pass and unique skins.
Alan Wake 2 follows the storyline of the original game but is set up as a standalone experience, making it accessible to newcomers who can enjoy the thrill-ride without any prior knowledge of the previous game. For returning fans, the sequel promises to be a treasure trove of lore and connections waiting to be discovered.
The narrative revolves around Saga Anderson, an FBI profiler, and Alan Wake, a writer trapped in a nightmare prison, as they navigate their interconnected realities in a horrific world. Their dual journeys echo and reflect off each other, offering a complex and captivating plot that promises to keep gamers on the edge of their seats.
Furthermore, Alan Wake 2 will have post-launch support with free content and two paid expansions, called Night Springs and the Lake House. While details about these expansions are currently under wraps, the promise of continued support is a welcome one (though to be fair, announcing DLC for a game that hasn't even been released will never sit well with me).
The game is powered by Remedy’s Northlight engine, which is aimed to perform well with ever-expanding virtual game worlds by having a modern and efficient game object model and a GPU-based geometry rendering pipeline. This game engine has been developed by Remedy Entertainment to empower their games now and in the future, ensuring that Alan Wake 2 and subsequent games stand out from the crowd.
The decision to release Alan Wake 2 as a digital-only game is a reflection of the broader shift towards digital gaming. By keeping costs down and ensuring a seamless experience, Remedy Entertainment is poised to deliver a game that appeals to both new and returning fans alike. I was eagerly awaiting October 17 to delve into the twisted reality of Alan Wake 2, but now, I may have to think twice.