Alan Wake 2 was one of the biggest games shown during the PlayStation Showcase, with stunning graphics featured in the gameplay reveal trailer, plenty of story and gameplay details, and an October release date confirmed. One slight sting in the tail is that Remedy has also stated that Alan Wake 2 will be a digital-only release. The only glimmer of hope for fans of physical media is that THQ Nordic has offered to help fix that oversight.
But first, why is Alan Wake 2 a digital-only game? Remedy state in an FAQ that this is following market trends where “a large number of have shifted to digital only. You can buy a Sony PlayStation 5 without a disc drive and Microsoft’s Xbox Series S is a digital only console. It is not uncommon to release modern games as digital-only.”
Additionally, there could be cost benefits, as “not releasing a disc helps keep the price of the game at $59.99 / €59.99 and the PC version at $49.99 / €49.99.”
And finally, “we did not want to ship a disc product and have it require a download for the game — we do not think this would make for a great experience either.”
These are fairly reasonable points to make, especially when considering that there are quite a few big budget games that launch where the disc is simply a placeholder and activation method, requiring users to download the full game anyway. As Remedy says, that’s not a great experience and kills off a major positives for having games on disc: video game preservation.
Oddly Alan Wake Remastered did receive a physical release back in 2021, and maybe that coloured the approach that Remedy and Epic Game Publishing are taking with the sequel. From that release, they will have direct statistics on how it sold in different formats, and they also know what it was like to push a day one update that was effectively the full game, and all of the costs involved.
But maybe there’s a different option? THQ Nordic cheekily tweeted that they would be happy to distribute the game physically.
In the FAQ, Remedy plainly states that “There are currently no plans to release Alan Wake 2 on disc.” If THQ’s offer is earnest, then this could possibly change, and we hope it does.