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Myllyrinne: "When you're small you need to partner with the large and the strong"

Remedy's MD explains the negatives of a long development cycle; plus meeting expectations for Alan Wake

Microsoft has been a "supportive" publisher for Remedy's upcoming Alan Wake, the studio's Matias Myllyrinne has revealed in an exclusive interview with GamesIndustry.biz, and a good match since the "small need to partner with the large, and the strong as well."

The publisher might be "huge", said Myllyrinne, but it's actively seeking new concepts for the 360, and innovating in the gaming realm with projects like Project Natal.

Innovation which Remedy hopes to provide with Alan Wake, due for release next spring, although - despite the game's episodic nature - it will be very much utilise "traditional DVD delivery" Myllyrinne confirmed.

"Who knows in the longer term. I think we're just seeing the industry, and even a wider spectrum of entertainment, changing structures and I'm sure that in the longer term we're going to see digital downloads and stuff like that on a wider scale than we do today.

"There are quite a few exciting things happening there, but for us we wanted to maintain the traditional business model. I mean, building a new IP, and building our company and taking those technological and intellectual property risks and so-forth, I don't think you want to couple it with a business risk as well, to try out a new business model..."

Still, what the game will deliver is a trademark Remedy storyline. Something which the new generation of consoles enables developers to do more effectively than ever, said Myllyrinne.

"[They've] freed up a lot of our capacity to tell stories - the tools to tell stories are a lot better than they were in the last generation.

"Telling stories is about captivating the audience, and it's as old as time itself. I mean maybe 2000 years ago you had folk sitting around a campfire and there would be a really good story-teller and people would gather to listen to him, and I think that's fundamentally what we're doing - it just happens to be a console and people can sit on a couch and listen to the story we're delivering."

While confident the game is shaping up to be a "fantastic thriller", Remedy is aware of the expectations surrounding its first next-gen title, Myllyrinne revealed, and hopes it can exceed its own high standards too.

"We've been successful in the past," he explained, "but clearly that doesn't guarantee you're going to be successful in the future.

"You need to keep on working at it and improving and there are a lot of great games out there and expectations are huge for games - I think we need to constantly learn and develop."

The long development cycle the studio has been afforded with the game however is a mixed blessing, said Myllyrinne.

"They allow you to take your time and also to let things settle. You can put them into perspective.

"But I think the negative side is that, obviously, it's a long development cycle and there are clearly business realities that go with it and you need to be able to focus for a long period of time... You need to keep your eye on the ball and just remain focused. That takes a lot of attention and determination."

You can read the full interview with Matias Myllyrinne, in which he also talks about handing Max Payne over to Rockstar and Remedy's goal to stay small, here. Myllyrinne will also be attending GDC Europe later this month with a keynote address 'Creating Intellectual Properties the Remedy Way'.

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