Alan Wake devs talk self-publishing and dodgy console ports
2012 looks like it’s going to be the year of the bigger studios self-publishing games on the PC. Rebellion Studios have already told us their plans to omit a publisher for the PC edition of Sniper Elite V2. Now Alan Wake developers Remedy have discussed the intricacies of their self-publishing arrangement for the PC version of the much-vaunted episodic Xbox 360 thriller.
Alan Wake was published on the Xbox 360 by Microsoft, so it seems a little odd that Remedy are publishing it themselves on the PC. We assumed that Microsoft’s vested interest in PC gaming (after all, they make that Windows thing) would put them at the forefront of publishing it, just as they have with Fable 3.
Matias Myllyrinne - Remedy’s chief executive officer - assures us that there’s no bad blood between the two companies, though. Microsoft have given Remedy free reign when it comes to publishing the game. “We were thrilled when Microsoft gave us the freedom to pursue this opportunity,” says Myllyrinne.
Alan Wake was planned for the PC since its inception, but Microsoft infamously said that the game was better suited to a “couch experience”. Remedy beg to differ, saying that many gamers asked for a PC version. “So many people have reached out to us and asked to be able to play Alan Wake on the PC,” says Myllyrinne. “That's where our roots are - in PC gaming- starting with Death Rally and Max Payne one and two. So, of course, this is a great thing for us - sadly it took a little longer. But this is still something that is close to our hearts.”
The biggest concern about any console port onto the PC is that it’s going to fall flat on its face, with low-resolution textures and poorly-mapped controls. Remedy is working hard to ensure it plays as smoothly on a keyboard and mouse as it does on an Xbox 360 controller. “The biggest things that we want to nail down are things like controls,” says Myllyrinne. “If this is not tuned to perfection, all the visuals are lost and the emotional touchstones are missed. A smooth camera and tight controls are crucial and some of the things that we need to look at from a different perspective when compared to a console game.”