A while back Remedy, the developers behind hit psychological thriller Alan Wake, began hiring for someone with "Experience on motion-control technology (e.g. Kinect)" as well as a producer for a "AAA console project".
Recently, a resume was discovered online which made reference to in-game cinematic work for "Alan Wake 2". And finally yesterday Remedy confirmed via press release that they are soon to be announcing a new Alan Wake project. But it won't be Alan Wake 2.
It really would seem Alan Wake is very close to the hearts of the fans out there, and to ours too. To that point, it's a shame that this news leaked before our official announcement which will of course include the visuals and information to support it. Well, now that the cat is out of the bag, we owe it to you and the fans to shed a little more light before we get the chance to officially show them what the guys have been up to.
Fans of the franchise will be excited to learn that yes, more Wake is coming! But to be absolutely certain to avoid confusion, this next Wake installment will not be Alan Wake 2. But neither will it be DLC. The rest we're saving for our official announcement when we'll actually SHOW YOU.
We are really excited about this project which a slice of our team has been working on for the last months. It's something that'll definitely give more to the Wake fans out there, but just as importantly, this installment will also give an opportunity for players who aren't familiar with the franchise to finally jump on board.
We can't wait to show you more, bear with us. Release dates, platforms and pricing are unconfirmed as of yet, but Fall 2011 is probably a good guess. More coming soon!
So it would seem a "slice" of the Remedy team have been working on an Alan Wake project for release this fall, which won't be a direct sequel to the first game, nor will it be additional downloadable content. Given their search for Kinect-experienced employees, and Microsoft's strong push for developers to support Kinect, it only makes sense that whatever they're working on will feature Kinect.
A likely scenario is that the game will be a Kinect-enabled spin-off from the franchise. It will be a standalone story that won't necessarily follow on from the first game in a direct way, and will feature gameplay more suited to Kinect. Forcing Kinect controls onto a typical third person action game could prove jarring, unless it complements the standard controller rather than replace it.
This makes sense for a number of reasons -- Microsoft don't want to annoy the core fans who expect the true Alan Wake sequel, which is inevitably also in development, to continue the story with the same controller-based gameplay. There is a time and a place for Kinect, and Microsoft have to be careful about intruding on core experiences where it is not wanted or needed. At the same time, Microsoft get to add another "core" Kinect experience to their line-up alongside the likes of Codename: Kingdoms, Project Draco, Steel Battalion and The Gunstringer and with a familiar franchise name, to boot. Basically Microsoft, and the Alan Wake franchise, get the best of both worlds, and both Kinect and controller fans get the experience they want.
So, when can we expect to finally see this game? A "reliable source" at XG 24/7 claims that it will be unveiled at E3 next month. Given the games fall release date, it seems very likely. Keep checking in, we'll be keeping you up to date with all of the latest announcements directly from E3 itself!
Update: An "extremely trusted source" has told XBLAFans that the game, entitled Alan Wake: Night Springs, will be an Xbox Live Arcade release rather than a full retail title. Although this doesn't confirm nor deny the involvement of Kinect, the name implies that it'll be closely tied to the Twilight Zone-esque TV Show, Night Springs, which featured in the original Alan Wake.