Alan Wake 2 PS5 Playstation

The original Alan Wake opens with a killer line that directly references horror master Stephen King, who, as it turns out, sold developer Remedy the rights for a song. In his schlocky, iconic and uniquely Alan Wake way, the game begins with the self-aggrandising writer (aren’t we all?) monologuing as images of scenic (and fictional) Bright Falls whip by:

“Stephen King once wrote that ‘Nightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear.’ In a horror story, the victim keeps asking, ‘Why?’ But there can be no explanation, and there shouldn’t be one. The unanswered mystery is what stays with us the longest, and that’s what we’ll remember in the end. My name is Alan Wake; I’m a writer.”

Smash cut to Summer Game Fest 2023, and the instantly recognisable Remedy boss Sam Lake told Eurogamer that he “really, really, desperately wanted” to open the game with an actual quote from the horror GOAT. The quote in question comes from a 2008 Entertainment Weekly article penned by King, lamenting the inability of film studios to adapt the medium for a mass audience.

Perhaps this is why he was so eager to sign off on his words being used in the project, something he likely could have charged a pretty penny for. Instead, it seems like the actual exchanging of money was a formality, with the immensely successful (400 million books sold) writer giving the project his blessing. Lake says of the arrangement: “It’s my understanding he wanted $1 for us to get the rights to use it. [It was] so very generous.”

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