Remedy says its newest game, which was originally codenamed “Vanguard” and was a free-to-play title, has undergone a drastic facelift. The studio behind Alan Wake 2 says that Vanguard will no longer be a free-to-play game, will now be called “Kestrel” and is a “premium game with a strong, cooperative multiplayer component”.
The shift in direction is likely a good move. With the ever-dying multiplayer genre, especially in the free-to-play spectrum, the move to a paid, premium co-op experience might guarantee the project is somewhat of a success.
Vanguard was originally announced in December 2021. Remedy revealed that the game was in development and that Chinese publisher Tencent was on board to localize and distribute the title in China. It was originally announced as a co-operative PvE shooter that “combines Remedy’s narrative expertise and action gameplay into an immersive multiplayer experience”.
However, that has since changed. Remedy shared details in a blog post saying that “due to uncertainties in creating a successful game to the rapidly changing free-to-play market and associated risks, the parties have discussed a new direction for the game project, which will be given the new codename, ‘Kestrel,’”
“The reboot comes as the project has reached the end of its proof-of-concept phase and after Remedy and Tencent had time to evaluate the project’s status and its next steps. The project will return to a concept phase. Part of the former Vanguard development team will move to work on Remedy’s other ongoing projects, while the core leadership and select members of the development team of Kestrel will focus on the project’s new direction from the concept stage onwards to create a premium game with a strong cooperative multiplayer component. The new experience will lean more into Remedy’s core strengths and be built on many of the features, assets and themes already designed for Vanguard.”
This does mean the game won’t be around anytime soon. A reboot of this scale caused major delays in development. However, given Alan Wake 2’s success, Kestrel will be worth the wait.