6 months after a complete reboot, Remedy cancels the multiplayer game it was making with Tencent

Max Payne
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

After more than two years of work and a complete reboot that brought with it a whole new codename, Remedy has announced that Project Kestrel, being developed in partnership with Tencent, has been cancelled so the studio can "focus more on the other games in its portfolio."

Originally known as Codename Vanguard, the game was announced in December 2021 as "a free-to-play cooperative adventure" that "marks Remedy’s first entry into Games-as-a-Service business model," CEO Tero Virtala said at the time. "We are building something new and exciting for co-operative multiplayer space, on top of Remedy’s strengths."

Despite the support of Tencent, which was co-financing Vanguard and meant to localize and publish it in Asia, the project never really got off the ground. In October 2023, Virtala said Remedy hoped to complete the proof-of-concept stage of work on the game by the end of that year, but just two weeks later the studio decided to completely reboot the whole thing as a premium game, codenamed Kestrel.

But that apparently didn't work out either. In an announcement made last week, Virtala said Kestrel had still not moved beyond the "early concept stage," and with Remedy's other projects picking up steam, it's decided to put the priority on that work.

"We can reallocate talented Kestrel developers to these other game projects, and many of our support functions get additional focus on their operations," Virtala said. "This is yet another means to ensure that our game projects continue advancing well." He added that while Remedy has opted to cancel Kestrel, "our team has done good work and provided us with valuable learnings."

I'm a little bummed out that we won't get to see what Remedy had cooking for its first-ever live game, but the studio does have an awful lot on the go including the Max Payne remakes, Control 2, the multiplayer Control spin-off, and the Alan Wake 2 expansions, two of which are currently in development. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.