Alan Wake 2 Will Be a Digital-Only Release
One of the more high-profile games this year is skipping a physical release.
Alan Wake 2 will only release as a digital download and won’t have a disc version at retail when it launches on October 17. The game’s developer Remedy Entertainment announced the news on an FAQ page for its upcoming release.
Alan Wake 2 is being released by Epic Games Publishing, which Remedy signed on with in March 2020 for two titles. The game’s price will be $59.99 across all console platforms on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S and $49.99 on PC through the Epic Games Store.
Remedy gave three reasons why Alan Wake 2 isn’t getting a physical release. The studio stated that many players have shifted to buying only digital games, as seen with the PS5 digital console and Xbox Series S. According to Remedy, not releasing a disc version helps keep the game’s cost on consoles at $59.99 instead of the new $69.99 standard and $49.99 on PC. Remedy also stated that they didn’t want to release a disc version that required a download for the game, as the studio didn’t believe “this would make for a great experience either.”
While Remedy stated that “it is not uncommon to release modern games as digital-only,” it’s still unusual for a big blockbuster, triple-A game to not have any sort of retail release, especially from a major publisher. Epic Games is also the developer of one of the most popular games today in Fortnite and the creator of the widely used Unreal Engine. Remedy stated there are no current plans to release Alan Wake 2 on disc.
The game will launch in a standard version and also a deluxe edition for $69.99 that comes with an Expansion Pass for two additional story content releases and cosmetic items.
Alan Wake 2 is the sequel to the 2010 original, which was first published on the Xbox 360 under Microsoft Game Studios. The follow-up has been highly anticipated for years. A Remastered edition released in October 2021 for modern consoles and a year later for the Nintendo Switch as a download only. Epic Games published Alan Wake Remastered, which also includes both downloadable content episodes of The Signal and The Writer.
A new trailer for Alan Wake 2 was shown during the PlayStation Showcase event on Wednesday running on PS5, which brought on the news of the digital release after the showing. THQ Nordic did throw out a casual offer on Twitter to publish a physical version of Alan Wake 2 in some form. THQ Nordic (then Nordic Games) released the PC retail version of the original Alan Wake in 2012.
It’s not unheard of for digital-exclusive games to be removed, become no longer purchasable or be completely lost due to licensing issues or storefronts shutting down, like the recent closure of the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS eShops. Even Remedy’s own Alan Wake had been removed from Steam and Xbox 360/Xbox One in May 2017 due to music license issues. The game didn’t return to PC until October 2018 once the music rights were renegotiated and in late 2019 or January 2020 for Xbox. While prior owners could still download their digital copy and play the game, no one could buy Alan Wake on either platform during that time period.
Alan Wake 2 introduces a new, second playable character named Saga Anderson (played by Melanie Liburd), an FBI agent investigating ritualistic murders in the fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington where the first game was set. She discovers pages of a horror story that are tied to Alan Wake, who is trapped in a nightmare world called the Dark Place. The pages of the story start to become reality for Anderson as she’s taken deeper into the darkness. Unlike the original, Alan Wake 2 will be a full-on survival horror gameplay experience, a first for Remedy. The game will have separate but connected stories for each character that can be played in any order.
The game is also connected to 2019’s Control in some way as part of Remedy’s shared universe for some of its titles. Alan Wake 2 is being created with Remedy’s own Northlight Engine, which was first used in Quantum Break (2016).
Alan Wake 2 was announced in December 2021 during The Game Awards.
Watch the game’s latest trailer:
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