Remedy is rebooting its upcoming free-to-play multiplayer title, previously codenamed "Vanguard," as a premium release.
The Alan Wake 2 developer said retooled project will now be codenamed "Kestrel" and will feature a "strong, cooperative multiplayer component." As for why Remedy is ditching the freemium model, the Finnish studio suggested there is simply too much uncertainty within the free-to-play market.
"Remedy signed a global agreement with Tencent as its publishing partner on December 28, 2021, to develop Vanguard," said the company in a brief update to investors.
"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."
Kestrel will now return to a concept phase while Remedy reshuffles the development team. Some of those who worked on Vanguard will be moved onto the studio's other ongoing projects while the core leadership team and select members of the group help chart a new path forward.
"The new experience will lean more into Remedy’' core strengths and be built on many of the features, assets and themes already designed for Vanguard," added the studio.
Remedy CEO Tero Virtala said the decision to alter the trajectory of Vanguard was made after a lot of "careful consideration," but suggested the move will allow the studio to play to its strengths.
"We believe that taking on a new direction where the game will be built more around Remedy's core competences is the right way to go," he added. "We are creating another distinct Remedy game with Tencent's continued support in making a great cooperative multiplayer experience."
The news comes just a few weeks after the launch of Alan Wake 2. We're still waiting to hear how the long-awaited sequel has been selling, but in its latest fiscal report Remedy revealed that Alan Wake Remastered had recouped its development and marketing costs after roughly two years on shelves.