Alan Wake 2 hasn't turned a profit 6 months in and there's no Steam release in sight, but Remedy says it's in control

Alan Wake, a writer in a snazzy black suit, gives his all during The Herald of Darkness music video from Alan Wake 2.
(Image credit: Remedy Entertainment)

Alan Wake 2 is great. 88% in PC Gamer great. Best Story 2023 great. It's Remedy taking all the lessons it's learnt across a long career and distilling them into something wonderful. And, apparently, not enough of us have bought it yet.

In the recently released Business Review for January-March 2024, Remedy CEO Tero Virtala wrote that—although it had sold 1.3 million copies at the start of February—the company had only recouped "a significant part of the marketing and development expenses" for Alan Wake 2. A significant part, but not all. Virtala pretty much reiterated that in a subsequent earnings call, where he also mentioned that Remedy had experienced an operating loss of €2.1 million in Q1 2024. Though it's worth mentioning the company did buy back Control in that time.

Which is a shame, as Alan Wake 2 was undoubtedly one of the best games of 2023, and certainly deserved a quicker turn to profitability than it's apparently gotten. Virtala doesn't seem too pessimistic about it, at least (then again, things probably have to get quite bad for the CEO to start screaming 'the end is nigh' in earnings calls), and notes that sales for the game have "continued with a high average price."

The game has yet to "generate royalty revenue," in contrast with other Remedy games like Control and Alan Wake Remastered, both of which have contributed to Remedy's overall royalties growing year-on-year. I wouldn't necessarily worry about that one too much, though: Alan Wake Remastered went through the exact same thing in Q1 of the year following its release.

On the whole, Remedy seems pretty buoyant about its future. Virtala dedicates a hefty chunk both of the business review and earnings call to talking up the possibilities opened up by acquiring the rights to Control, which means the company can now "freely decide on the future of our two established franchises, Control and Alan Wake." Virtala says Remedy is currently exploring both self-publishing and partner publishing for future games in each series.

Virtala also provided status updates on the myriad projects Remedy has cooking. Condor—the multiplayer Control spin-off—has moved to full production; Control 2 is hitting the end of the proof-of-concept stage; the Max Payne remakes are expected to hit full production in Q2 of this year; and the free-to-play multiplayer project Kestrel is still in "concept stage."

Overall, things seem pretty good, even if more people need to pick up Alan Wake 2 before it becomes profitable. Remedy expects that its revenue will increase and operating profit will improve for 2024, and will get more specific about that "when the decision for the business model and the potential agreements for Control 2 and Condor have been made."

Oh, one bit of bad news: Sounds like it'll be a while (if ever) before Alan Wake 2 hits Steam.  Asked if the game would come to Valve's platform during the earnings call, Virtala said "That's also a speculation that we cannot at the moment do. At the moment, Alan Wake 2 is available in Epic Games Store, and we hope that PC Gamers will find it there." Sorry for the jump scare, Steam devotees.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.