Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is not Alan Wake 2, developer Remedy has made that much clear.
That’s not to say that a true sequel to the original game will ignore the XBLA release when it finally rolls around, though. “Obviously, big triple-A games are our main focus, but [digital] feels very good, and feels like the right way of being able to do something on the side as well,” creative director and writer Sam Lake told Edge. “Death Rally, and now American Nightmare, are good examples of that, and in the future we’re looking for different opportunities as well, expanding and doing other things.
“Alan Wake is our own IP and we absolutely love it, and we feel like we can do many things with it; custom versions for different mediums.”
Head of franchise development Oskari Häkkinen added: “It’s a learning curve as well, understanding the business. As gamers, we want to know about, and understand, all the possibilities in gaming. Our passion is bigger projects, but these smaller projects gave us an opportunity to let our hair down a bit and have fun.
“American Nightmare is made for [XBLA]. We can go wilder with the weapons and include the kind of enemies that you would never expect in the Alan Wake universe. The Night Springs setting has enabled us to try out things we wouldn’t have been able to try out in the first game.”
But the spin-off will have some influence over the next game, Lake revealed. “It’s a nice place to experiment and then feed what we learn back into bigger games,” he said. “I’m sure fans of Remedy Entertainment will see many elements in American Nightmare that they have come to expect from one of our games. It’s a tighter package, but still a cinematic, story-driven action game.”
Lake then reassured those that might be put off by the new twist: “Obviously Alan Wake as a whole, as an IP, is very near and dear to us, and we want to take good care of it and make sure that we have a set course and direction for where we’re going. And we certainly wouldn’t take it in an unexpected direction without thinking ahead and making sure that everything is working as we wanted it to.”
American Nightmare will launch early next year.