No Steam And Physical Release, Alan Wake 2 Not Profiting Was Inevitable

Even a masterpiece can succumb to unfortunate circumstances.

Story Highlights

  • Alan Wake 2, the fabulous masterpiece of 2023 overflowing with creativity still couldn’t make a profit.
  • Choosing to stay on Epic only and omitting a physical release preferred by many were the causes.
  • There’s still time to fix things, releasing the game on Steam might alleviate this jeopardy.

When you hear that a game didn’t make enough profit, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? “The game must’ve been bad,” right? Well, not always. Sometimes, a brilliant game is a victim of unfortunate circumstances. Region or platform restrictions, competitive release, marketing mismanagement; stuff like this can contribute to this undeserved underperformance.

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Alan Wake 2 — A Masterpiece Struggling Commercially

What prompted me to select this topic, you ask? It’s nothing other than Alan Wake 2 and the unfortunate financial situation surrounding it.

I’m sure you’ve heard it by now, but the critically acclaimed crown jewel of 2023 is not doing so well in the earnings department. There’s no doubt Alan Wake 2 has surpassed its predecessors and become the fastest-selling game for the developer, but the fact remains that the game has yet to make a profit, despite being so widely renowned.

Alan Wake 2 still hasn’t recouped investment, Revenue decreased by 24% despite its release
byu/AboveSkies inKotakuInAction

It goes without saying that Alan Wake 2 is one of the best games of all time, and I’ve praised its creative design and narrative direction every chance I got. If Alan Wake 2 had won GOTY instead of Baldur’s Gate 3, trust me I would’ve been completely okay with it; the game deserved as much. All the awards and critical praise it has received? Justified.

It beckons a question. If that is indeed the case, why hasn’t a game so great been able to turn a profit even after all this time? I might have some answers for you, as per my understanding of the situation.

Alan Wake 2 is, no doubt, a crown jewel | Source:
Alan Wake 2 is, no doubt, a crown jewel | Source:

Choosing Epic Over Steam Was A Big Mistake

As I mentioned earlier, Alan Wake 2 is a gem victim of unfortunate circumstances, but in its case, these situations do not stem from an external cause. The decisions involved here could very well have been avoided; we wouldn’t even be here discussing this. Unfortunately, here we are.

The first, and I believe the most critical mistake that handicapped this masterpiece from the start was the fact that it was released only on Epic Games, not Steam. The game is an Epic exclusive; funded and published by Epic Games.

byu/Gontreee infuckepic

Practically everyone in the world knows and acknowledges that nothing can beat Steam. From its overwhelming popularity, enormous care for the consumer, massive player base, and user-friendly features, Steam is in a class of its own. Yet you choose Epic Games over this unanimously superior service.

No way Epic can ever catch up to Steam | Source: Steam
No way Epic can ever catch up to Steam | Source: Steam

Epic Games is notoriously hated among PC gamers, simply because of how buggy and unresponsive its launcher is, and how it refuses to implement corrections to its services. Couple that with the downright insane sales and gaming value on Steam, and there’s no way anyone would ever pick Epic over an objectively better platform.

Epic Games Launcher is so bad
byu/Suspect6307 infuckepic

Digital-Only Has Serious Consequences

The first decision jeopardized Alan Wake 2’s chances on PC, and this second one did so on consoles. Alan Wake 2 was a digital-only release. There was no physical disc; it was only available digitally through the online stores of the respective platform. This was done to keep its price controlled, but if you ask me, it did more harm than good.

The Physical vs. Digital debate has been going on for a long time now. Both sides have compelling points, and making a choice is hard. However, that doesn’t mean the companies choose for you. This right of choice should never be taken away. Alan Wake 2 didn’t give it to the players, it was digital-only.

Physical games still carry undeniable boons | Source: YTChillVibesLofi (Reddit)
Physical games still carry undeniable boons | Source: YTChillVibesLofi (Reddit)

If I talk about myself, I have always been a pro-physical game, and I’ll continue to be, now more than ever. Physical games have undeniable advantages, but the most important is a grounded sense of ownership. Physical media has a real existence, a proof-of-purchase in the flesh (more like plastic). In a time when digital stuff is hell-bent on taking away this right, I’ll stick to the physical media, thank you

A huge reason to continue buying physical games
byu/Hwbam33 ingamecollecting

You’ll be surprised by how many people share my sentiment and will stick to their choice. This is one of the reasons for Alan Wake 2’s dilemma, it turned away a vast group of people with a decision that harmed no one but itself.

Alan Wake 2 Still Has Some Room For Damage Control

With all said and done, I still believe the situation can be salvaged. As great a game as Alan Wake 2 is, it has the potential to spring back once some complaints have been resolved. If a game is bad and then also a victim of bad decisions, it’s hopeless. But not Alan Wake 2.

Given it is not in Steam or Physical, I am worried ALAN WAKE 2 dont sell well, and it would be a pity, it is a MASTERPIECE….incredible love put in the game ….my GOTY
byu/Azrael699 ingaming

This damage control can come in the form of a physical copy. A disc version of the game can still be released, appealing to all the physical users out there. The second point, however, might not be fixable. The game is an Epic-funded and published product, and will probably stay so unless Epic ever changes its mind. Remedy opting for Epic really was a foolish move.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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