Alan Wake 2's digital-only release is actually a good thing
The gaming industry has been tipping over into digital sales over physical sales for some time now, and sadly, companies are more than willing to abide by user trends.
In many cases, physical games are the only way players can guarantee their titles are actually truly owned. Consoles are increasingly offering discless versions, and as discounts hit digital games more often than physical ones, it's the most cost-effective option when it comes to playing new releases.
Equally, the cost of video games is soaring straight upward once again, with many studios currently eyeing up $70 as the new baseline cost of video games, whether they be any good or not. Now, it seems Alan Wake 2 is looking to challenge the crack at players' wallets.
Alan Wake II is going digital-only
May 2023's PlayStation Showcase held a good sum of surprises, but among them lay in wait Remedy Games' first foray into survival horror - the sequel to their spooky and topsy-turvy thriller Alan Wake.
The game got its first gameplay trailer, revealing a new playable character along with a return to Bright Falls - but the most compelling thing for many about this game wasn't in the trailer at all. It has been revealed that Alan Wake 2 will be a digital-only title, completely refuting the option for a physical copy of the game.
"There are many reasons for this," reveals Remedy in a new FAQ section on the Alan Wake site. "For one, a large number of have shifted to digital only. You can buy a Sony PlayStation 5 without a disc drive and Microsoft's Xbox Series S is a digital only console.
"It is not uncommon to release modern games as digital-only. Secondly, not releasing a disc helps keep the price of the game at $59.99 / €59.99 and the PC version at $49.99 / €49.99."
Is this a good or bad thing for the gaming industry?
There are certainly pros and cons to this approach to video game distribution, and it's user-friendly to approach a game in a way that helps to keep its cost as minimal as possible. Even so, this could pose a pretty big problem when it comes to the preservation of video games in the future.
Although not guaranteed, we could run into problems that keep Alan Wake 2 from being available in any legal avenue. It's fantastic news for the present, meaning gamers are excited to jump into the game for the first time, but for future gamers who stumble upon it some time from now, it could be a big issue.
It's up to you to decide what this change means to you, and while it makes sense from a financial standpoint, it's nice to know you actually own the game, with it sitting on your shelf. Alan, we hope your return is worth the trouble.