The Inverse Interview

Alan Wake 2 Director Sam Lake on the Game Awards, Baldur’s Gate 3, and DLC

“The reception of Alan Wake 2 has been beyond our wildest dreams.”

Remedy Entertainment
The Game Awards 2023

It was the zaniest moment at the Game Awards. In between the 2023 award show’s endless stream of video game commercials and the occasional actual award, TGA host Geoff Keighley ceded the stage to a gang of leather-clad musicians. Cosplaying as The Old Gods of Asgard, a fictional rock band that exists within the Remedy video game universe, real-life Finnish metal group Poets of the Fall performed a ballad from Alan Wake 2 two while the game’s starring cast sang and strutted alongside a troupe of backup dancers.

It was weird, goofy, epic, and awesome all at once. Then, it got even weirder.

Alan Wake 2 director Sam Lake suddenly joined the backup dancers, performing choreographed moves as he shimmied across the stage. While Lake didn’t actually win the coveted Game of the Year award, the bizarre musical number solidified Alan Wake 2 as one of the most adventurous titles of 2023.

Speaking to Inverse just ahead of the show, Lake confirmed that everything he put into Alan Wake 2 and its twisted Twin Peaks-inspired experience, will inform whatever Remedy does next.

“With each game, we have a lot of learnings we want to put into action for the next one,” Lake told Inverse. “We've been doing different things and trying things out in different games. I feel very happy about Alan Wake 2, and in many areas, we were able to make progress.”

Lake wouldn’t go into specifics about his next game, though a sequel to 2019’s Control is already confirmed, but he did reiterate that two Alan Wake 2 expansions will arrive in 2024. He also shared his thoughts on the positive response Alan Wake 2 has already received and revealed his opinion on the game that would go on to beat him at the Game Awards: Baldur’s Gate 3.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Sam Lake accepting the Best Narrative Award for Alan Wake 2 at The Game Awards 2023.

The Game Awards

What’s going through your mind as you’re one of the nominees for Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2023? 

Lake: Always, when creating something different, something daring, there is a nervousness about how it will be received and understood. The reception of Alan Wake 2 has been beyond our wildest dreams. I feel immensely grateful. This year has been an incredible year for games. Getting nominated for GOTY at The Game Awards is a huge honor in itself with the incredible titles in the lineup.

Security was an issue last year at The Game Awards. Geoff Keighley said that there would be increased security this year. Do you feel safer?

Lake: I mean, it's good that these events are well organized. If that's what it takes, then great!

You have several projects in development right now, like Alan Wake 2’s DLC, Control 2, and Max Payne 1 and 2 remakes. Can you tell me more about them? And what else is Remedy looking forward to in 2024? 

Thomas Puha (Remedy’s communications director): We can't talk about the other games we have in development, the focus is on Alan Wake 2, but we definitely have our hands full with Remedy’s future games.  

What we can say is that Alan Wake 2’s two expansions are coming in 2024. We have a small, dedicated Alan Wake 2 development team left who is fully working on the first expansion. We also have a few other quality-of-life updates coming for Alan Wake 2 in the upcoming months.

Lake: For me, the focus very much is on the DLCs of Alan Wake 2 now. It was a big and long effort getting the game out. That's pretty much the focus for me right now.

Alan Wake 2’s two protagonists, Alan Wake and Saga Anderson.

Remedy Entertainment

Besides Alan Wake 2, if you were to choose any other game within that Game of the Year to win, which one would you pick?

Lake: Baldur’s Gate 3. I’m a big fan of tabletop role-playing games and started out with Dungeons & Dragons. It has a great place in my heart. I haven’t really started Baldur’s Gate 3 because I had to focus on getting Alan Wake 2 done and I know that it's a time sink. But very much in the coming holidays, right? That's what I'll be doing.

Alan Wake 2 is now available for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.

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