One of 2023’s most-anticipated games, Alan Wake II, launches on October 27 across console and PC. But on PC, it’s exclusive to the Epic Games Store and will not come to Steam, at least not at launch. Why is this? As it turns out, there is a pretty clear reason why this is the case for Alan Wake 2.
Epic paid for it
Epic Games funded the development of Alan Wake II, and presumably part of the deal between Epic and Remedy was that Alan Wake II would be exclusive, at least at launch, to the Epic Games Store. Epic also funded the development costs for the 2021 Alan Wake remaster. Epic is also the publisher of Alan Wake II and presumably gets to decide where the game is sold.
In an effort to promote the Epic Games Store, which is a relatively new platform compared to Steam, Epic is known to pay developers or offer them other incentives to bring their games to the Epic Games Store instead of rival platforms.
“A handful of major exclusives really moved the needle … and the smaller games, especially games that had a smaller audience that was typically on Steam, we found that a lot of those players weren’t willing to move over,” Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said about this strategy.
In August this year, Epic announced it would give developers and publishers 100% of a game’s sales revenue for the first six months of sales if they choose to launch exclusively on the Epic Games Store.
Alan Wake 2 could eventually come to Steam… or will it?
Before this, Remedy’s Control launched exclusively on the Epic Games Store in 2019 before coming to Steam exactly one year later. The timing suggests that there was a one-year exclusivity deal. However, 505 Games published Control. As stated, Epic is the publisher of Alan Wake II.
Alan Wake Remastered, also published by Epic, was released on the Epic Games Store in October 2021 and still has not appeared on Steam. Epic is the publisher of Alan Wake II, so any questions about where you can buy the game would presumably be decided by them, and launching it on a rival store might not be their plan.
Epic Games Store GM Steve Allison said Alan Wake II will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store for “a long time,” though he did not provide a specific time period for the exclusivity. He didn’t say, forever, though.
So for now, the only way to play Alan Wake II on PC at launch is to buy it through the Epic Games Store. The game officially launches on October 27 at midnight Eastern.
Our Alan Wake 2 review is now available and scores the game a rare 10/10. For more, check out GameSpot’s in-depth breakdown of all the key details about Alan Wake 2.
You can also check out the Alan Wake 2 launch trailer, which debuted at the Xbox Partner Preview.