Why is Alan Wake 2 going digital only?

Remedy Entertainment explains that there's a perfectly good reason for the decision but fans are having none of it.

Remedy Entertainment's recent inclusion in the PlayStation Showcase lineup was supposed to be a cause for celebration. After all, we got official confirmation of the release date of Alan Wake 2 at the said event. But, while October 17 isn't too far off, Remedy's more controversial announcement following the reveal might have put audiences off from picking up the highly anticipated sequel.

For what it's worth, publicity is publicity regardless of whether it's good or bad.

According to Remedy, Alan Wake 2 won't be available in physical format due to three reasons, namely:

  1. The studio claims that it has identified a shift in gamers preferring to buy digital versions of the game.
  2. The developer points out that ditching the physical disc lets them keep the price point of Alan Wake 2 at $60 for the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X and $50 for the PC
  3. Skipping a physical release allow the developers to avoid an ongoing trend of having players buy a disc only to require a separate download to play the game at launch.

All things considered, Remedy makes several valid points about skipping a physical release, but fans aren't too happy.

Plenty of fans online voiced their preference to buy physical editions for collection or archival purposes. Some also prefer a physical copy of the game because they have slow internet connections at home.

So, what's the solution?

Alan Wake 2 is part of the growing list of horror games scheduled for a release this year.

At this point, Remedy has yet to address the situation. But, THQ Nordic, one of their former partners, stepped in to offer an alternative.

More than a decade ago, THQ Nordic helped Remedy publish the physical copies of Alan Wake for the PC and would love to work together with Remedy again for the sequel.

It's unclear if Remedy and Epic Games will take THQ up on the offer but it's clear that it's all up to them now since someone else has offered to do the dirty work for them.

Remedy Entertainment might want to listen to what THQ Nordic is offering especially if the terms are good.

While most of the noise online is on the side opposite Remedy, there are people who are sympathetic to Remedy. Physical copies of games are no longer in vogue unless we're talking about the more expensive limited edition variants of games, which continue to sell out and get scalped.

We're happy that Remedy and Epic found a way to make Alan Wake 2 one of the few current-gen games that will still sell at the "older" price point at launch.

But, just because someone hasn't bought a physical game in years, this doesn't mean that the majority won't. It's important to give gamers the option between buying either the physical or digital edition of games regardless of what their reason is.

We're certainly hoping Remedy rethinks its digital-only plans, especially after THQ stepped up to the plate.

If nothing else, it's a win-win situation for both companies. Remedy and Epic get someone to solve their problem for them and Embracer Group, the owners of THQ Nordic, finds a sure-fire hit that can help them with their current financial situation.

Alan Wake 2 can no longer afford to be a cult hit like the first game given how much bigger Remedy has become in recent years.

With Alan Wake 2 scheduled to come out on October 17, we'll likely find out more about their financial decision in the next month or two.


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Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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