Yesterday, Remedy Entertainment confirmed that the second Control expansion, called AWE, will—as we expected—feature the return of Alan Wake (opens in new tab). That's big stuff for sure, but even bigger was a bit near the bottom of a blog post hinting at something called the "Remedy Connected Universe."
"What if there’s actually been a plan in place for over a decade on how some of our games are connected," the studio wrote. "A Remedy Connected Universe, if you will—and payoff for certain things is… down the line?"
Today, creative director Sam Lake removed the "what if" part of the equation.
"For over 10 years, we’ve had a crazy dream. The idea that the tales told in some of our games would be connected to each other, a connected world of stories and events with shared characters and lore," Lake wrote (opens in new tab). "Each game is a stand-alone experience, but each game is also a doorway into a larger universe with exciting opportunities for crossover events.
"Slowly, patiently, behind the scenes, we've been planning and plotting to make this a reality. I'm absolutely thrilled to tell you that now, the time has come to take the first concrete step on this road, establishing Remedy Connected Universe. You have no idea how happy it makes me to be able to finally make this statement."
The decidedly strange events that took place in Alan Wake—in which a famed author traveled to Bright Falls (opens in new tab), lost his wife, encountered some shadow monsters, hung out with a weird Viking heavy metal band, and got sucked into another dimension—were actually part of an Altered World Event in Control.
FCB agents investigated the incident and brought materials back to Control headquarters for study, but then it all went sideways somehow and the entire Investigation Sector had to be sealed off. In the AWE expansion, new Control director Jesse Faden will try to reopen it, which will presumably lead to the encounter with Alan Wake. Lake said the expansion is the "first official Remedy Connected Universe crossover event," but there's more to come.
"This is still just a humble beginning," he wrote. "We’re already hard at work on a future Remedy game that also takes place in this same universe."
It's possible that Remedy is committing to this project now because of a publishing deal with Epic Games (opens in new tab) announced earlier this year. That deal covers "up to 100 percent of development costs," including salaries, QA, localization, marketing, and all publishing costs, but leaves "full creative control" to developers, and also grants them 100 percent ownership of all properties. That deal wasn't mentioned in today's announcement, but it would appear to provide a very good opportunity for Remedy to go all-in on its next game.
Yesterday, I said I was intrigued by the possibility of a Remedy Connected Universe; now, I am excited. I will also humbly suggest that Max Payne's famously bad shirts would make excellent Altered Items—the source of his bullet-time power!—and thus a fine way to loop him into the RCU, too. You can have that one for free. (Although, Remedy probably cannot have Max Payne back for free after it sold the rights to Take-Two (opens in new tab).)