After a bevy of  holiday greetings and Happy New Year messages, one game industry outlet after another has started releasing their “most anticipated” lists for 2013 (read Game Rant’s top 15 choices). In addition to a lengthy list of high profile titles, 2013 is also expected to bring one (or possibly two) next generation consoles. As a result, it’s easy for developers, those without confirmed in-development projects, to get lost in the shuffle of early New Year buzz and excitement.

Still, gamers are hungry for surprise announcements, which is why an extremely vague holiday greeting from Remedy Entertainment has been placed under massive scrutiny, with some enthusiasts using the message as proof that Alan Wake 2 is en route in 2013 – possibly as an Xbox 720 launch title.

As mentioned, Remedy’s Happy New Year 2013 message could be viewed three very different ways:

  1. An intentionally vague tease for an in-development Alan Wake 2 (with a possible 2013 release date).
  2. An intentionally vague tease for an all-new title (with a possible 2013 release date).
  3. An intentionally vague (and ultimately hollow) corporate holiday greeting.
Now, read the official message posted on the Alan Wake Facebook page and decide for yourself:
The new year starts with good news: Alan Wake Franchise is -75% on Steam. Even greater Remedy news to come in 2013…

Let’s start with the third interpretation first. In an increasingly inter-connected industry, it makes complete sense that the developer would want to say Happy New Year to fans – as well as encourage their followers to stick with them into the next year. What corporate holiday message doesn’t also include something along the lines of “Stay Tuned for Our Best Year Yet“? Though, even if the developer is planning a 2013 announcement (or possible game release), industry fans should be well-aquainted with studios and game companies that promise big things in the new year – only to see titles delayed in the subsequent calendar (or, worse yet, indefinitely).

As a result, the FB message is hardly confirmation of Alan Wake 2 or a new game in 2013 – especially since news on the Remedy Entertainment front has been VERY quiet since the release of Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (with the exception of a few Max Payne 3 franchise reactions).

Yet, it’s equally possible, as many fans are speculating/hoping, that Remedy is set for a big E3 2013 reveal – specifically a 2013 release of Alan Wake 2 as an Xbox 720 launch title. The studio even recently re-teased the Annual Deerfest poster along with an updated Bright Falls website.

alan wake deerfest wall painting

Undoubtedly, Microsoft would love to secure an Alan Wake sequel as a launch option for their next-generation console – given that the cult-favorite franchise could help sell the new console to a gaming demographic that isn’t as smitten with the publishers two primary system-selling exclusive shooter franchises (Halo and Gears of War) or kid-friendly Kinect offerings. Microsoft could use new hardware as a high profile relaunch for the franchise, after their dumbfounding decision to release the original title alongside Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption. Additionally, there’s no doubt that Alan Wake on next-gen hardware would also address some of the original title’s biggest problems (most notably unrefined facial animations). New Halo or Gears of War installment aren’t likely to launch on the Xbox 720 in 2013 (a Halo 2 HD remake is possible), though Microsoft could introduce a newcomer shooter IP to coincide with their next-gen console and, subsequently, an Alan Wake offering would help steal the attention of potential PS4 or Xbox 720 buyers that might otherwise prefer Sony’s diversified corral of exclusives over the online shooter-heavy Microsoft stable. That said, this is all speculation for now.

On a related note, Sony buyers might also be hoping that the holiday message could mean a multiplatform launch for Alan Wake 2, and while anything is possible, Remedy’s Head of Franchise Development, Oskari Häkkinen, has been VERY upfront about future Alan Wake installments remaining Microsoft exclusives:

Alan Wake as a franchise will never come to PS3. Hopefully that’s not your headline but for everyone that’s pretty obvious […] Yeah but there’s definitely a certain amount of respect as well for the publisher there. It’s something we would never consider for the Alan Wake franchise […] When I talk about Alan Wake as a franchise I definitely see Microsoft as a partner.

A multiplatform 2013 game release from Remedy is very possible – albeit in the form of an entirely new IP (i.e. not an Alan Wake sequel).

Alan Wake Series to Continue

However, at this point, there’s no indication that the studio is working on a different franchise and all signs do point to Alan Wake 2… possibly releasing in 2013 for Xbox 720.

We’ll keep you up to date as we hear more about Remedy Entertainment (as well as Alan Wake and Microsoft) in 2013.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

Source: Remedy Entertainment