Remedy: Developers in "no hurry" for new console cycle

Alan Wake studio enjoying "golden age of game development"; post-production essential for successful games, says MD

Max Payne developer Remedy Entertainment has said developers are very comfortable with the current generation of consoles and are in no rush to begin work on any next-gen technology.

Speaking in an interview with, managing director Matias Myllyrine said that the current cycle is delivering quality gaming experiences for consumers, and the studio hopes to put its own technology behind Alan Wake to use on other projects.

"I think all the developers out there - or most of us at least - we're absolutely in no hurry to move onto a new console cycle. There are still things that we can do with the current generation of hardware for the 360 and PlayStation 3," said Myllyrine.

"We have a healthy installed base, and gamers have gotten a lot of the services that they wanted from stuff like Live and so forth. I don't think a leap is called for - especially with Natal and the other devices coming out, hopefully that will extend the life cycle."

The Finnish team has been working on Xbox 360 exclusive Alan Wake for six years - it was first shown off to the public at E3 2005 - with Myllyrine saying that the game was complete around June last year, but he insisted that it should get the utmost levels of polish in post-production before release.

"We had the whole game fully playable around E3 last year, and we've just been balancing, tuning, polishing and iterating in post-production since. Games are fairly expensive, and if you put down 60 Euros, the Remedy brand has to stand for something - otherwise people aren't going to come back.

"I could get on my post-production soap box... how many games have you played that you see there's the potential of something really wonderful there, but it's not fully envisioned?" he asked.

Attention to detail is something that the Remedy team learnt working with Rockstar on the Max Payne series, with Myllyrine confident his small 50-man team can hold its wait against bigger studios that have the luxury to take time with the development process.

"Working with Rockstar - those guys are terribly passionate, uncompromising, and there's a huge attention to detail in the things they do. I have a huge amount of respect for Sam Houser and his teams, and that applies to Blizzard as well.

"Not to sell us short, but those guys are much larger organisations - we're still a small developer trying to do something unique and focused, and hopefully we're doing one or two things that nobody else is doing, and being positioned differently so we don't go head-to-head."

Myllyrinne estimates the team sacrificed around six months of work to get the finished game right, but it now has in-house technology that it can use on upcoming projects.

"That's a key thing. If you've put down a large upfront investment you're going to get downstream return from having that technology base."

"I think there are a lot of awesome games," he concluded. "We're in a golden age of game development in a lot of ways - we're blessed with really great, polished stuff. For us we wanted to do something unique, and wanted to push the envelope on a few areas, a few fronts, and focus on those."

Thee full interview with Matias Myllyrine can be read here.

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Latest comments (2)

Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College7 years ago
Completed around June 2009?! That's some serious post production polish...Alan Wake will be gleaming when it hits the streets.

I just hope it is as balanced, tuned and polished as they say otherwise they may end up with egg on their faces!
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Simon Peter7 years ago
I think at this point it is true that most gamers would refuse to upgrade to another, more expensive system simply with even better graphics.
But on the other hand they are also getting bored with the sequels, the half decade old visuals, and even the traditional franchises themselves.

It's a tough situation, where total renovation is expected, but the only traditional method for hardware-based innovation will no longer make it.

Of course, the short term answer could be the motion controllers, if done well.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Simon Peter on 24th February 2010 9:19pm

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