The reason Alan Wake 2 is digital-only might surprise you (or indeed annoy you)

There'll be no disc release for Alan Wake 2 due to reasons around maintaining the quality of the game, but not everyone's buying that line.

1 minute & 51 seconds read time

Alan Wake 2 is due out on October 17, and we already know it's a digital-only game - there won't be a release on a physical disc, and the reason for that is Remedy wants to ensure the game is as good as it can be.

Alan Wake 2 is again set in Bright Falls (Image Credit: Remedy Entertainment)

Alan Wake 2 is again set in Bright Falls (Image Credit: Remedy Entertainment)

In other words, a disc release would have to be finalized (go gold) in time for manufacturing and packaging, and that'd be problematic in terms of the quality of the finished product.

Eurogamer spoke to Alan Wake 2's creative director, Sam Lake, and game director, Kyle Rowley, at the Summer Games Fest, getting their thoughts on the reasoning behind the digital-only decision.

Lake confirmed to Eurogamer: "Yeah, it is digital only, and kind of coming to this idea, both from Remedy and Epic's perspective, that's our current thinking."

Rowley explained: "As creatives obviously, by going digital-only it does allow us more time to polish the game. Like, a significant amount of weeks actually. Because otherwise, the game that goes on the disc, obviously it has to be playable without a patch.

"We didn't want to release something that we weren't proud of basically, and that we didn't want players to play. So hopefully this way we can give you a better version of the game."

The FAQ for the game didn't put things quite so strongly, but did note that part of the reason for digital-only was that a disc that required an immediate download (of a likely large patch) wouldn't make for a good initial experience for players. The FAQ also pointed to cost issues and how they're kept down by going digital rather than having to fork out to produce a disc (and box).

Not everyone is convinced by Remedy's additional explanation here, in terms of the going gold argument, with commenters pointing out that the decision around the digital and physical releases would have been made a long time ago (likely before a release date was penciled in anyway). And furthermore, worrying about a hefty day-one patch (for a disc) is a bit of an odd thing to do, when the digital version is, well, a massive download in itself anyway.

Whatever the case, there are a number of gamers who aren't too pleased about having the option to buy a physical copy of Alan Wake 2 taken away from them.

Let's hope the game itself doesn't disappoint, as it's one we're looking forward to. We have fond memories of playing the first Alan Wake, which wove a keen atmosphere of suspense and tension, telling its story with considerable skill.

Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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