The XBOX 360-exclusive horror shooter always looked right up our alley, but Remedy took so long to deliver the game that we'd long moved on when it released. We were playing PlayStation 3 and establishing PushSquare by the time the game out. Tellingly, we've never actually played the game — even though it was top of our most wanted list for years.
When it eventually released, the game was a critical success but a commercial failure. For whatever reason, the horror title just didn't appeal to the XBOX 360's mainstream demographic, prompting many to suggest it might have fared stronger with the PlayStation's more traditional audience. We think that those people are right.
Despite being originally developed for PS3, Remedy's Markus Maki explained to CVG that keeping the game exclusive to XBOX 360 was a "business risk" that took the "big technological effort, the PS3, out of the equation."
Our strategy was one of focus, said Maki. Thats actually a really core Remedy element, well if you forget the ambitious goals we had. We needed to be top notch in some areas, but we knew we couldnt do everything better than some developers out there. For example, this meant there was no multiplayer. That wasnt in our core set of skills and it would have been a huge effort.
We also took the approach to license middleware that made sense, even when we didnt end up using it all for one reason or another. And then, the big deal to go with Microsoft and take one big technological effort, the PS3, out of the equation. That then changed the technology risk to a business risk but thats a subject for a different talk altogether
We think Alan Wake would have probably performed marginally better on the PlayStation 3. If you look at the kind of games that really stand out on the PlayStation platform, it's usually more traditional single-player driven experiences like Uncharted and Heavy Rain. The XBOX 360 tends to have the upper hand when it comes to shooters and multiplayer titles. It'll be interesting to see what Remedy do next. Will they stick with Microsoft, or jump ship?