Remedy Entertainment, the studio behind survivor horror game Alan Wake 2, has made a fundamental change to Codename Vanguard, a project that was originally meant to be a free-to-play co-op game. Remedy has just recently released Alan Wake 2 to great reception and rave reviews. The horror sequel has gone on to become nominated in eight categories at The Game Awards 2023, including Best Direction and Game of the Year.
Fresh off the highly successful release of Alan Wake 2, Remedy still has a lot of games in development. A sequel to 2019's sleeper action hit Control is being worked on, as well as ground-up remakes of the first two Max Payne titles in partnership with Rockstar Games. Additionally, Remedy has two smaller codenamed projects in the works. A co-op Control spinoff codenamed Condor is in the oven and will be published by 505 Games. Additionally, Codename Vanguard is a free-to-play co-op multiplayer game announced by Remedy and Tencent in 2021.
Now, Remedy Entertainment has announced it's chosen to reboot one of its two co-op games Codename Vanguard, now renamed Kestrel, after it completed its seemingly dissatisfactory proof-of-concept stage of early development. Remedy cites the constantly shifting free-to-play market as a reason for Kestrel's switch to a premium title. Being sent back into the concept stage, Kestrel will see a change of direction as it moves more in-line with "Remedy's core competences," as put by Remedy's CEO Tero Virtala.
Remedy also specified that members of the former Vanguard team will be splitting off to work on some of the other games in development at the studio, such as Condor, Control 2, and the Max Payne remakes, as Kestrel re-enters its concept phase. It's possible that as some of the formerly mentioned Remedy titles release, Kestrel's team size may grow again as the game progresses in development. As for what this shift for Kestrel may entail, very little is known of the project, but it seems the game's concept was getting away from Remedy's area of expertise. Kestrel's status as a co-op multiplayer title may have played a role, as Remedy has always excelled at single player experiences.
...[Kestrel] will lean more into Remedy’s core strengths and be built on many of the features, assets and themes already designed for Vanguard. - Remedy Entertainment
With Kestrel back in the concept phase and Remedy busy juggling four other projects, fans of the studio likely won't learn more about it for another several years. Since Alan Wake 2 was just released not even a month ago, it may be a while before the studio is ready to reveal what its next game will be, though it seems the Max Payne remakes might be next up.
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