Just after the first Alan Wake, Sam Lake wanted to make another game however, due to varied circumstances, it could not happen. In fact, according to Sam Lake, there have been 5 different versions (pitches) for Alan Wake 2 before it was Greenlit. In an interview with Edge Magazine (Issue 388), Sam said:
I’ve been trying to get Alan Wake 2 made for so many years. There have been five concepts of Alan Wake 2, I think. That’s how I count it.
Ilkka Villi also recalled his calls, chats, and meetings with Sam Lake about different Alan Wake 2 concepts:
Meetings with Sam over the years, phone calls, messages – ‘It’s gonna happen, maybe, maybe, we’ll see… No, it didn’t go through’. That happened quite a few times. But I always knew that Sam and a lot of people at Remedy had a big drive to go back to the character, to keep the dream alive.
So, people at Remedy Entertainment wanted Alan Wake 2 to happen as well but it seems like that whenever a pure single-player game experience was pitched, it was looked down upon by publishers, but Sam kept trying.
We immediately did a plan for the sequel. And already we were thinking of what Alan Wake 3 could be.” But the timing wasn’t right. “That’s the ebb and flow of the videogame industry – back then, it was very much like, ‘A linear singleplayer experience? Not interested.
It seems like they always wanted something else, Sam Lake explains. With multiple Alan Wake 2 pitches rejected, Remedy Entertainment then ended up making Quantum Break for Microsoft which ofcourse had some concepts that were meant for Alan Wake 2.
For a while, I tried to kind of retrofit that idea onto Alan Wake, but it just didn’t feel like Alan Wake. So instead, we pitched Quantum Break to them.
After Quantum Break, Remedy Entertainment prepared another pitch for Alan Wake 2 featuring an “FBI looking for a missing writer”. After the feedback, however, the game didn’t feel like an Alan Wake game, so it was dropped once again. After that, as you already know, Remedy Entertainment ended up making Control. This time, Control was much more related to Alan Wake as compared to Quantum Break. So control basically laid the groundwork for Alan Wake 2. After the success of Control, Remedy finally landed a deal with Epic Games, and Alan Wake 2 finally got greenlit. The deal was finalized while Remedy was working on Control. Sam said:
Things were just clicking into place. We want to do two things. We want Alan Wake Remastered, and then we want the sequel. And that was the deal that we made.
Alan Wake 2 has shifted its focus from being an action-horror game to a survival-horror experience. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. For the time being, from what we have seen or heard about the game, Alan Wake 2 is enroute to be another great experience from Remedy Entertainment. Alan Wake 2 is scheduled to release for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X and Microsoft Windows on October 17, 2023.