Nowadays, you can see many series of video games getting numerous sequels and it doesn’t look like there’s an end to them. But, what about those older gems of the gaming world that never got a chance to expand? I wanted to look back at some of the examples and honor those standalone games that many gamers remember with fondness. Nostalgia warning ahead!
The story revolves around Alan Wake, best-selling thriller novelist with a writer’s block, whose wife has disappeared while they were on a vacation in the fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington. He is trying to uncover the mystery while the plot from his latest novel, that he doesn’t remember writing, is coming to life.
Some kind of darkness took over humans, that are now called Taken, murderous shadows from his nightmares are now in this plane of existence and are attacking Wake with everything ranging from knives to chainsaws. Only light can stop them.
Brilliantly written by Sam Lake, a psychological action thriller Alan Wake is unique in its own way. Other than it took five years to be made, which is very unusual in the gaming industry, Remedy Entertainment created it to look like a thriller television series, divided into episodes filled with exciting plot twists and unnerving cliffhangers.
It consists of six episodes, it has two DLC episodes called “The Signal” and “The Watcher”, it has six-episode live-action prequel web series “Bright Falls”, it has books expanding the story, it has a short standalone “Alan Wake’s American Nightmare”, but it doesn’t have a sequel.
Originally, the game was announced at the 2005 E3 for the next generation of consoles and PCs. After Remedy partnered with Microsoft Game Studios in 2006, the decision was made to publish it exclusively for Xbox 360. It wasn’t until two years after its release that they published it for PC in 2012.
It’s not like there was no plan for the sequel, developers referred to Alan Wake as Season 1 with the DLC's being the bridge that connects the story to the next installment. Microsoft forced them to finish the DLC's so they couldn’t really focus on the sequel, but it was in the development, sitting there and waiting to see the light of day, someday, hopefully.
The final decision, again made by the Microsoft Studios as it was their intellectual property, was to scrap the idea of a sequel, since Alan Wake was not financially successful enough, and make something different. It didn’t all go to waste. Most of the ideas were implemented in Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, the short standalone I mentioned above, and what could have been the sequel became a completely different game, Quantum Break. That game didn’t get the sequel either, no surprise there.
With all due respect to Microsoft, I can’t shake the feeling they were slowing things down, for Alan Wake at least. Maybe that was the smart business move on their side at the time, but Alan Wake has gathered a huge amount of loyal fans since, and they are all eager to see the continuation of this highly praised franchise.
There is still talk about the sequel, but what we know for sure, it’s not going to be anytime soon. Another exciting news is that Remedy Entertainment announced the plan to make a live-action TV series. That may come to fruition sooner than the sequel if it’s any comfort to you. We, at GameBuz, PC, Console, and Mobile games news site are keeping our eyes wide open for whatever comes next.