Alan Wake PC: The First Interview

By Dan Grill on December 14th, 2011 at 5:08 pm.

Our man Dan Griliopoulos was at the Alan Wake PC announcement earlier today, and immediately managed to pin down Aki Järvilehto, Executive Vice President at Remedy for a few questions. And some very, very short answers. Tackled: why now, what’ll be different on PC, whether there’ll be any new content, whether the new Wake game American Nightmare might come to PC, and whether or not Aki likes being asked questions like that. We don’t entirely believe his reply to that one.

RPS: Why release it now?

Aki Järvilehto: I think it’s more related to the fact that there are many digital channels we can do use this on now. It wasn’t previously possible. Now that we have the possibility, we just had to go for it.

RPS: Microsoft traditionally are protective of their exclusives. Why now?

Aki Järvilehto: We’re doing with co-operation from Microsoft, we do have a very good relationship with them, so we’re happy about that.

RPS: It’s good it’s coming to Steam too, something that has a very wide distribution rather than a small percentage of the market.

Aki Järvilehto: We’re very excited about Steam as well, it’s a good channel. It’s great to get the game out there, finally.

RPS: Will there be Steamworks integration?

Aki Järvilehto: Yes, it will.

RPS: Will there be any new content?

Aki Järvilehto: No, it’s a one-to-one match. OBviously, there’s a lot of things we’re doing in terms of adapting the game, the gameplay, the controller, to make it different.

RPS: Was there any DLC on Xbox?

Aki Järvilehto: Yes, there were two DLCs, The Writer and The Signal. Both releases of DLC will be shipping at release.

RPS: They won’t be included in the PC version for free?

Aki Järvilehto: We have to see. We haven’t decided about that.

RPS: It’s releasing in Q1 2012. How long it’s been co-developed for? Since the beginning?

Aki Järvilehto: We’ll have to see what the exact timing is going to be. We’ve been working on that and many different projects for the last few months. One of them was here (the new Alan Wake spin-off on Xbox Live), and some of those are coming out right now and some are coming out later. It’s always exciting, not just to talk about the PC one but also to talk about Alan Wake’s American Nightmare.

RPS: Will that be coming to PC?

Aki Järvilehto: Right now we’re only talking about XBLA.

RPS: So it will support PC-grade textures and the latest DirectX?

Aki Järvilehto: The experience of running it on a high-end PC, with a ninja set-up, is such a big difference. On a large display, on a high-end PC, it looks gorgeous.

RPS: Would you prefer to pay it on PC?

Aki Järvilehto: I love to play it on both platforms. It was a blast on Xbox and it’s running well on PC.

RPS: Do you get tired of being asked questions you can’t possibly answer?

Aki Järvilehto: I love it.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

, , , .

94 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    cqdemal says:

    Can you even see the game if you run it on a ninja setup?

  2. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    I’m disappointed you didn’t ask about the couch DLC.

    P.

  3. Ormu says:

    I find this funny because of the å’s instead of ä’s.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      å and ä are very different in sound.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      Which is why anyone who can pronounce them sighs or laughs upon reading “Stargåte”.

      Yeah, no, that’s not pronounced “Stargate”…

  4. Jams O'Donnell says:

    RPS: So it will support PC-grade textures and the latest DirectX?
    Aki Jårvilehto: The experience of running it on a high-end PC, with a ninja set-up, is such a big difference. On a large display, on a high-end PC, it looks gorgeous.

    That’s nice but it doesn’t really answer the question, does it?

    • TechRogue says:

      Of course it does. The answer is “no”.

    • lith says:

      Ah, classic games journalism at its very finest: ask a question to make it look like you’re working in your readers’ interest, but don’t ask for clarity on the inevitable non-answer you get in return.

    • Premium User Badge

      FriendlyFire says:

      No, it’s just understanding from the answer that he won’t answer you no matter how hard you push.

      Which just blatantly means “No”. No need to press further.

  5. gganate says:

    Wow, did he actually answer a single question?

  6. Gunrun says:

    “RPS: They won’t be included in the PC version for free?
    Aki Jårvilehto: We have to see. We haven’t decided about that.”

    I will be super disappointed if they don’t include the DLC. I will probably buy the game if it does.
    I’d imagine many other people think the same as me.

    • woodsey says:

      Not only that, but it came out a year and a half ago. If they have the nuts to charge full price and with separate DLC, they’ll be slaughtered.

    • Red3eard says:

      I was so pissed about that DLC I refused to buy it. It was like they cut the end of the story out of the book. GAH… Reminds me of Red Dead Redemption. DLC has some merit, but alot of developers take it too far.

    • DrGonzo says:

      The Red Dead Redemption’s DLC didn’t add anything to the plot. Alan Wake’s continued the story. I think it’s a lot more reasonable to get pissed off at Alan Wake’s DLC.

    • AlexW says:

      That answer got my hackles up. What kind of cheapskates do you have to be to not integrate the DLC into a years-after port? That should have been in their design document for the thing, right next to ‘support all mildly popular display resolutions’ and ‘do not act either guilty or self-righteous about the delay because the PC users will eat you alive’.

    • Ed123 says:

      To be perfectly honest neither DLC was particularly good in gameplay terms, nor did they advance the plot in any way whatsoever. So if you’re considering buying it I wouldn’t let that sway your decision.

    • DocSeuss says:

      Cut the end, Red3eard? Do you know nothing about psychological thrillers? They tend to have ambiguous endings. Alan Wake was designed as a television series type of story, where the original game was Season 1. It ends on a perfect note. Plus, they offered the first DLC for free, yo.

      The DLC is Alan’s journey through The Dark Place, and it looks like American Nightmare will continue that trend.

      The game itself is a complete story.

  7. BAshment says:

    oh yeah come on that’s right throw those scraps in my mouth.

  8. Moni says:

    Aww, the really important question is: “Will it have Games For Windows Live?”

    Being a Microsoft game, I expect it will. :(

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      This. I have to disable my firewall every time I want to log on to GFWL.

    • Balobam says:

      Is THAT why mine never connects for Batman: Arkham Asylum and I have to sit there like a lemon for 5 minutes whilst it decides to not connect?

      There’s gotta be a way to whitelist it, surely?

    • Screamer says:

      @Balobam
      Why are you waiting for it to connect? Let it login “offline” and continue with you life ;) There’s really no reason to be signed in.

    • FieldOfTheBattle says:

      It has Steamworks so no.

  9. Sirico says:

    Last year that digital distribution wasn’t good enough eh? http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/02/12/alans-wake-remedy-ditch-pc-version/

    • Syra says:

      pretty obvious they had a 2 year timed exclusivity agreement with microsoft or some such

    • hosndosn says:

      What annoys me most about those PR interviews is how stupid they think we are. I mean, it’s almost like talking to a politician. No content left, just playing for a tone of self-confidence and positivity.

      The line about “it not being previously possible” because there were not enough “digital channels” is complete, utter bullshit.

  10. WolVenom says:

    I think you mean Aki Järvilehto.
    Let’s hope that it won’t use GFWL, the DLC is free and that the American Nightmare comes to Steam too.

  11. AtomicTroop says:

    Indeed, it’s supposed to be Järvilehto, not Jårvilehto. I just don’t understand what’s so hard about Finnish names.

    • westyfield says:

      It looks like Dan Gril didn’t attend
      *puts on sunglasses*
      Finnishing school.

  12. Drake Sigar says:

    RPS: They won’t be included in the PC version for free?

    Aki Jårvilehto: We have to see. We haven’t decided about that.

    RPS: Are you going to buy this game?

    Drake Sigar: We have to see. We haven’t decided about that.

  13. Esti2 says:

    I dont get Remedy.

    They made their money thanks to 3DMark and then they made Max Payne. They succeded thanks to us but then they sell MP and make AW and because of the money they decide to screw us making this an exclusive and now they want us to pay for this?

    • LauriPoika says:

      Remedy didn’t make 3DMark. That was Futuremark.

    • Esti2 says:

      Yes, but Remedy founded Futuremark, so they did money thanks to pc gamers.
      “In November 1997, Remedy created a new company that would handle its 3D benchmark program called Futuremark.”wikipedia

  14. WolVenom says:

    “The PC version of the game will also include The Signal and The Writer downloadable content.”
    http://forum.alanwake.com/showthread.php?t=7525

  15. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    What about the pricing?

  16. Paul says:

    I know it is more MS’s fault than Remedy in how they shit in our mouths by canceling PC version after stringing us along for 6 or so years, but still. If they do not include DLC, and if it contains GFWL, it will fucking suck.

    And it better not have any idiotic things like 30fps cap or 16:9 res only either.

    I will gladly buy it if the PC version is great.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Oozo says:

    The only reason why I’m kinda glad of those news is that I’d like to see what it made of the “Twin Peaks” influences – especially after having played “Red Seed Profiles” (aka “Deadly Premonition”)…

    • Premium User Badge

      shaydeeadi says:

      Did that come out on PC? Best £10 I ever spent, even though I got stuck on those stupid invisible wall climbers half way through. The plot was insane!

      I might watch a compilation of the cut-scenes to find out what happened in the end.
      What do you think Zack?

  18. Buemba says:

    If the game shipped with (Or close to) the 360 version I would’ve bought it in a heartbeat, but since I’m a petty asshole I ain’t paying more than $20.00 for a 2 year old port.

  19. db1331 says:

    “Aki Järvilehto: I think it’s more related to the fact that there are many digital channels we can do use this on now. It wasn’t previously possible. Now that we have the possibility, we just had to go for it.”

    If only there had been a popular digital channel they could have used to sell the game on PC two years ago…

    • Wulf says:

      Yeah, it was such a dark age for PC gaming, then. There was no Steam, there was no Direct2Drive, there was no GamersGate, and we were looking on at those tablet computers and whizzbang phones wondering why our high-tech beasts couldn’t have the same sorts of technologies in place.

      Derp.

      Really, I just can’t get behind these guys. If someone has a Microsoft exclusivity contract? That’s fine. I can take that. I can nod and offer my okays to that. “We couldn’t release it for the PC because we were tied up in licensing with MS, exclusivity and all that. But now we’re out it’ll be fine!” That i could have appreciated.

      But they’ve done nothing but lie about it and beat around the bush.

      Have Microsoft made it illegal to actually talk about exclusivity agreements in any way, shape, or form? If so, why? Anyway, I can’t respect them. They could have at least said that they couldn’t disclose the reasons for keeping the game away from the PC. But the cockamamie excuses about the PC not being an intimate enough format, and now the cockamamie excuses about digital distribution systems not existing back then…

      No, not going to buy it.

      Being treated like an intelligent human being matters to me. Not being patronised like I’m incredibly challenged matters to me. It could be the greatest game in the world and I still wouldn’t touch it with a pole, it could be the only one. I really don’t appreciate what they’ve done.

      Honesty is the best policy.

    • somini says:

      You can bet that those exclusivity contracts have some form of NDA attached.

    • db1331 says:

      @Wulf

      Yup. I won’t be buying it for the same reason. What they have done here is asked us to Prom, then backed out on us once they found what they thought was a better date. Then, after their new date ditched them to go get gang-banged by the football team, they come over and ask us if we would like to dance. No, you can fuck off, Remedy. I’ll be over at the punch bowl.

    • Kaira- says:

      I am willing to bet that the choice of withdrawing the PC version was Microsoft’s, and Microsoft alone. They did, after all, fund almost all of the development for the game. The game was in development for… what, five or six years? Max Payne 2 made enough money to fund them for around one and half years if I remember correctly. At some point MS decided that enough’s enough, the game has to come out, and apparently they thought that they could boost the sales of X360 by making Alan Wake an exclusive.

      tl;dr: I’d point my finger towards MS rather than Remedy.

    • LintMan says:

      @Wulf: Exactly. “Piss on our heads and then tell us it’s raining” is the apt description for what this guy is doing. Did he even give one straight answer?

      NDA or not, you don’t just make up some stupid bullshit answer and expect we’re just gonna buy it. It’s a slap in the face of PC gamers, even if the gaming press is too circumspect to directly call you on it.

      Honestly, every quote from this guy make it less and less likely I’ll ever buy a game from them again.

    • Stick says:

      “Have Microsoft made it illegal to actually talk about exclusivity agreements in any way, shape, or form? If so, why?”

      I recall back when Mass Effect 1 was an Xbox exclusive and Bioware people emphatically and repeatedly stated there were “no plans to release a PC version” until the PC version was announced and released about 15 minutes later. So the conversion crew either worked really hard or it consisted of advanced Zen masters capable of not doing something for which there were no plans while not producing a non-result.

      I think it can safely be assumed that Microsoft contracts are required reading for up-and-comers in Hell.

      (As for “why?”, the only answer I’ve heard that makes any kind of sense is “if we even admit the possibility of a non-Xbox version, it could hurt Xbox version sales”. Policy-making by fear.)

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      I don’t care if was at MS’s behest or not,. gotta go with Wulf on this. They decided to screw the PC gamer and then come crawling back and toss this PR bullshit at us without even the decency to be honest, and expect us to be all gushy grateful to play their 2 year old game who’s plot points have all been dragged through a gaming media which assumes everyone (on console) has played it by now.

      If I play this at all, I’ll look for it in a significantly lower cost digital distribution path of my choosing.

    • DocSeuss says:

      @Wulf, they did state, back in the day, that Microsoft made them cancel the PC version, but that they had lobbied hard for its return, and, if the demand was high enough, they might try to go back and get it on the PC again. They said that the near-complete PC version was sitting on their servers, awaiting the day that it all worked out.

      I’d hardly blame them.

      If anything, I’d suggest encouraging as many people as possible to buy the game (as long as it doesn’t launch at full price, which would be idiotic) in order to show Microsoft that PC releases are really worthwhile. This is a case in which voting with one’s wallet could only have a positive impact.

  20. Starky says:

    if they charge something reasonable for a game this old, like say £15-20 ($30?) then I might buy it.

    If not they can sod off, when I could get it for a tenner or less, preowned on that 360-ex-box that sits in my living room and is never turned on.

    • Creeping Death says:

      I got it for 4 quid last weekend at CEX.

      Now it’s just a shame DLC never goes down on xbox live :/

  21. phenom_x8 says:

    Full DX 11 engine and no shitty textures (just use the old resources for their canned PC version!), no GFWL,no Securom and no limited install! That would be perfect!
    I hope they trully realise their first Alan Wake vision with this PC release which is non- linear level structure with a bit of open world inside (although its already said that this would be a one to one port)! And no collectible thermoflask , please! Its silly!

    BTW, is there anyone knows how much Fable III sold on PC so that MS allow Remedy to release this on PC??

    Edit : and yes, got to find a new couch just for this game so that I can have full experience out of this game! Honestly, it was hurt when they said something like that back then (when they canned the PC version)! But, we PC gamer were so forgiven this day!

    • Burning Man says:

      “Full DX 11 engine and no shitty textures (just use the old resources for their canned PC version!), no GFWL,no Securom and no limited install!”

      Uh… yeah, sure.They’ll probably throw in a customizable stripper and a crate of beer too. I mean, if you’ve done so much, might as well go a tiny bit further, eh?

  22. Linfosoma says:

    The only way they’ll get me to buy this game is if:

    1-It doesnt use GFWL, that’s a deal breaker.
    2-It includes the DLC, it’s the least they can do after a 2 year delay.
    3-It’s not full price. I will not pay full price for a port of a game released years ago, what’s the point? I might as well just get a used Xbox copy or even rent it.
    4-The port job is good.

    Im not really expecting this to happen, and thankfully I’ve always been only midly interested in this game so it looks like a strong candidate for a steam sale.

  23. Beelzebud says:

    I was told this game was made to play from a couch. Considering that I play PC games at a desk, I’m not sure this is for me.

  24. rocketman71 says:

    If those were the answers he had, he could have stayed at home.. in his couch.

  25. Kaira- says:

    His answers were almost as good as Valve’s in some interviews.

  26. Dana says:

    It will be a commercial flop just like La Noire.

    • Balobam says:

      Probably, you can’t release something that long after another platform got it and expect similar sales, considering a fair amount of PC gamers probably have at least one console.

      All I hope is there’s no complaints about how piracy lead to diminished sales.

      Plus, having played it on my 360 I found it pretty lackluster, the idea was good and it does have really nice environments, but the combat was incredibly tedious and it got pretty repetitive quite quickly.

  27. Walter Heisenberg says:

    “RPS: So it will support PC-grade textures and the latest DirectX?

    Aki Järvilehto: The experience of running it on a high-end PC, with a ninja set-up, is such a big difference. On a large display, on a high-end PC, it looks gorgeous.”

    You didn’t answer his question pal. Running at a high resolution does not equal high res textures.

  28. Premium User Badge

    Stellar Duck says:

    I think I signed up to Steam in 2007. When was the game made? Surely they must have released it before Steam, GamersGate, Direct2Drive and what not? I mean, was the CD even invented? Or the couch?

    However much I hate the direction Rockstar is taking with Max Payne I must admit that I’m glad that Remedy is not doing it after this load of lies and New-speak.

  29. AreChaos says:

    Remedy has to threat lightly here, if this game is nothing like the previous version shown in the 2005/06 presentation then it better be optimized, have a wide variety of graphical options and the controls suited for the PC- K/M.

  30. V. Profane says:

    Really, really not selling me on this.

  31. RyuRanX says:

    Damn interview. Nothing was answered.

    They better compensate us PC gamers for the delay and their lack of respect when the PC version was cancelled, or else they can shove Alan’s flashlight up to their asses while sitting on their beloved couch.

  32. Bagpuss says:

    “Thanks for your time”?

    It should be Järvilehto saying that, after all he’s the one trying to get RPS to persude us to buy this. Especially with the fact that we should have gotten when it was first released.

    And as someone else pointed out, don’t we all need big screen tvs and comfy couches in order, to play this game?

  33. foda500orama says:

    No GFWL, thank fuck for that.

  34. HardcoreGamer12 says:

    misspelled

    *RPS: Would you prefer to pay it on PC?* <<<<< play NOT pay

    thanks for the interview

  35. Premium User Badge

    Persona says:

    “RPS: They won’t be included in the PC version for free?

    Aki Järvilehto: We have to see. We haven’t decided about that.”

    Perhaps they’re including a couch instead? How can this possibly be played otherwise?

  36. deadly.by.design says:

    I expect them to release it “new” at $40, at the lowest estimation, which is disappointing. Maybe even $50. That means it will be something I buy during the 2012 Steam Christmas sale for $5.

    IMO, a game that’s received (and deserved) so much angst from the PC community shouldn’t be priced at more than $30. It’s late, the publisher jerked us around, and it’s single-player, so I’m in no rush to pay more than necessary.

  37. TomEllinson says:

    I’m just going to pirate it. That’s all PC gamers do, right? Pirate stuff?

    • Premium User Badge

      Persona says:

      They waste all their money on ninja PCs, no wonder they don’t have any left to buy games or couches!

  38. nyarlathotep-88 says:

    I think I’m in the monority with this, but I personally did not care for the game. When I played it, it felt like I was part of a movie, not a game. The story was pretty good, but I just did not have much fun playing it. There were to many minor things that bugged me about it too. The game constantly abruptly taking control and zooming in on an objective (just feels unatural to me), always telling me where to go when there is only one route to travel.

    Just an opinion. I am curious though if anyone else felt the same way.

    • Premium User Badge

      Persona says:

      I felt the same, big disappointment. I followed the game’s development since the very beginning (when it was still an ambitious PC exclusive) and I gave it a fair chance, even after Remedy tried their best to alienate their fanbase. And despite my low expectations when I finally played it, it was still entirely unimpressive.

      The game tried too hard to be ‘cinematic’, the Lynch influences were mediocre at best, the pacing was pretty weak and you spent most of the game going through the same old forests.The day sequences were very limited, with almost no actual exploration or interaction with other characters. Some of the dialogue was decent, but most of it was also filled with clichés and poor drama. They also managed to create a terribly unfunny sidekick with absolutely no charisma.

      It didn’t help the gameplay was very repetitive and just plain boring, which was something I never expected from the guys responsible for two of the best action games of the past decade.

      It’s a shame a lot of developers this generation have been aping Hollywood, reusing the same formulaic ideas while attempting to create interactive movies, instead of actually making an interesting game. Remedy had a lot of good ideas, but it’s pretty clear their scope was severely limited and they changed direction midway through development. The result was a poor shooter that never reached 1/10 of its actual potential.

  39. Thrawny says:

    i guess i’ll wait another 6 months and pick it up for tuppence in a steam sale…

  40. B0GiE-uk- says:

    I wonder if this game will have mouse and keyboard support?!

    Too little too late, these asshats shafted PC Gamers and now they are sucking up to us trying to flog a 2 year old crappy console port.

    Sad… Very sad indeed….

  41. TwwIX says:

    Meh. Who needs this when we got games like Amnesia?

    I smell a sloppy port ala LA Noire.

    • nyarlathotep-88 says:

      Amnesia! Now that was a great game! Shows the potential of what even a small team can accomplish. Scared the crap out of me too. Absolutely no regrets buying that game.

  42. Gaff says:

    Not sure how I feel about picking up Microsoft’s sloppy seconds here.

    Don’t forget that Alan Wake was originally a PC title when it was first being developed by Remedy. When they eventually hooked up with Microsoft to publish it, MS had them kill the PC version and make it a 360 exclusive. Microsoft is “completely committed to the PC as a gaming platform” though.

    Likely Remedy’s overlords at Redmond have figured out that they have gotten almost all of what they are going to get from 360 sales and are letting them finally put it out on the PC, as it should have been from the beginning (when it was originally a PC title!).

    That being said, I am glad it is finally receiving a PC release. I think it’s very disingenuous they way they are doing it (“thank god digital distribution has just been invented so we can use it!”) but the fault for that belongs to Microsoft and not Remedy.

  43. Pinky09 says:

    I love it how they said they wouldn’t release it for pc, and don’t really care for pc back when Wake was released. Now, when they squeezed every last cent out of it, suddently they announce to the world: “We love PC!!!!”

    Not getting it either way, heard it sux

  44. Forceflow says:

    Let’s just hope it runs on a a framerate higher than 30 FPS.

    I’m looking at YOU, LA Noire.

  45. Stackler says:

    Couches. Enough said.

  46. jiyuu367 says:

    “we succeeded in making a technological breakthrough to emulate an experience from the couch in front of a larger TV screen.
    We ultimately realised that the most compelling way to experience “Alan Wake” could also be intimately experienced on PC platform.”/sarcasm

  47. unacomn says:

    “I think it’s more related to the fact that there are many digital channels we can do use this on now. It wasn’t previously possible. Now that we have the possibility, we just had to go for it.”

    As opposed to 2010, when we only had Steam, Impulse, GamersGate, Direct2Drive and the other 1% of the digital distribution market.

  48. Bungle says:

    Why would they expect me to buy this game and get invested in the story if they aren’t going the release the sequel on PC? This is an unbelievably shallow release. I hope they aren’t expecting to sell many copies.

  49. Enterprise2448 says:

    “Aki Järvilehto: I love to play it on both platforms. It was a blast on Xbox and it’s running well on PC.”

    I long for a day when someone like him actually has the balls to say the right thing and not the usual “it plays great on all platforms” bullshit.

  50. ZX k1cka55 48K says:

    Obligatory “too little too late, nobody gives a fuck, stick it up your arse” comment.
    Seriously though, i still remember when it was marketed as an exclusive windows-live game so many years ago…now i dont give a fuck