Maybe it's because I overdosed on Stephen King as a kid and have always had a particular penchant for that whole fiction-becomes-fact thing (if only to keep alive the dream that one day, McDreamy is gonna step out of my TV and into my arms), but Remedy's novel approach to storytelling -- whilst not flawless by any means -- was nonetheless one of my favourite gaming experiences of 2010.
It sold modestly well -- 4.5 million, give or take -- and fostered a passionate fan following. Unfortunately, despite having specifically carved a story meant be shared across several titles, Alan has yet to make his comeback.
In a detailed interview with Polygon, Remedy's creative director and head writer Sam Lake acknowledged that from the "get-go", the assumption was that Alan Wake would indeed return.
"Near the end of Alan Wake, we were sitting down and talking about the sequel and where we should be taking it, on a detailed level," said Lake. "More or less straight from getting Alan Wake shipped, we were working on a sequel and planning on a sequel."
"In many ways, we see the universe as a bigger thing. Alan Wake is a very central character, but we have other characters around him like [friend and agent Barry Wheeler] and his wife Alice and Sheriff Sarah Breaker and other characters there. We feel this is a big universe to develop and explore in many ways."
The team didn't merely plan it's next steps, however. The studio got as far as crafting a full prototype for the sequel, a "mood piece" demonstrating "the high-level thematic elements of what's there."
Last year, however, Lake admitted that the time wasn't right for the sequel, and whatever plans had been in motion had now been abandoned. Already committed to Quantum Break, any attempts to press on with Wake "wouldn't have been the sequel that Alan Wake deserves to get."
So: does the public release of Alan Wake 2 prototype (available at Polygon) signal the death of sequel plans?
Well, no -- not necessarily.
"We are living in Quantum Break land and enjoying ourselves," Lake said. "But at the same time we are in a place where we are starting to look into the future and starting to have discussions about what is next."
"Among other things," he continued, "we are discussing the possibility of an Alan Wake sequel with multiple partners, but nothing has been decided."
"The thing that made this idea of releasing this prototype demo OK is that it is very much on a high level," Lake added. "There are no spoilers in it. That being said, I do hope we get an opportunity to work on Alan Wake 2. I want to do more Wake at some point."