The Original Pitch For Alan Wake 2 Included Live Action, TV-Style Cutscenes Like Quantum Break
Microsoft approved of the idea, but had no interest in an Alan Wake sequel.
The original pitch for Alan Wake 2 included TV-style live action cutscenes. Microsoft showed interest in that idea, but little in a sequel to the cult classic supernatural action game. This pitch evolved into Quantum Break, which Microsoft published.
In an interview with Eurogamer at Summer Game Fest, Remedy creative director Sam Lake discussed the pitching process for Alan Wake 2. Lake said, "so, we were creating a concept of Alan Wake 2, we were showing it to Microsoft--but other publishers as well at the time--and it was maybe slightly awkward timing as, you know, the industry shifts and changes along the way."
"It was at the time where clearly there was feeling that linear single player games are a thing of the past. Well, single-player story obviously is huge these days, but at the time, it felt like nobody was really interested."
Lake continued, "and as a detail in that pitch, I had the idea there would be live-action mini-episodes in-between the episodes of the game, and during that pitch at Microsoft, they were like, 'We are interested right now about this, but not really interested about going on with Alan Wake.'"
He concluded, "That then evolved into Quantum Break. But between every game we have come back with a new version of what Alan Wake 2 could be, and we've had some discussions and here we are now."
Alan Wake 2 game director Kyle Rowley added that the idea for Control came originally from a pitch for an Alan Wake sequel. However, both developers clarified that not much of these pitches made their way into the current incarnation of Alan Wake 2. Lake clarified, "of course, it is the same character and it is the same settings--the Pacific Northwest and Dark Place--and plenty of lore elements that evolved out of that. But beyond that, what the game side of it was, or the actual plot of it was... this is a very different thing."
Despite all the trials and troubles with landing Alan Wake 2's eventual direction, Lake is happy with how things turned out. He said, "I'm really happy we didn't get to make any of those. Because I do feel a lot more excited in many, many ways about what we have now been making."
Remedy is hardly a stranger to this kind of multimedia integration. The original Alan Wake had a prequel webseries called Bright Falls. Control incorporates live action footage, including a serialized puppet show. Even Max Payne 1 and 2's graphic novel style cutscenes utilized heavily altered photographs. I would be surprised if there is not some live action element in Alan Wake 2, though it will likely not take cues from Quantum Break.
Although previous Wake games have had a schlocky horror tone, Alan Wake 2 is diving into a survival horror mode. There is still plenty of mystery surrounding the sequel, but as the October 17 release date looms, more details have been revealed.