Remedy, the developer of Alan Wake, has announced (opens in new tab) that it has to remove the game from the Steam and Xbox stores due to a licensing issue with the game’s music.
As of May 15, the game will no longer be sold in physical stores, on the online Xbox Store, or on Steam. If you already physically own the game you can, of course, keep it and be safe in the knowledge that a music corporation isn’t about to raid your home.
Remedy said that though it’s looking to renew the license and eventually start selling the game again, there’s currently “no timeframe” for it happening.
Closing the book
It wasn’t made clear exactly which song on the soundtrack is causing the issue, or if it’s more than one, but the game contains songs from huge artists like David Bowie and Nick Cave.
We imagine licensing (and re-licensing) such songs isn’t cheap, which perhaps goes some way to explaining why Remedy only licensed them for seven years.
It won’t come as any surprise, then, that you’ll be able to pick Alan Wake and all of its DLC up seriously cheap on Steam this weekend in what Remedy is calling the Alan Wake Sunset Sale. The sale starts on May 13 and for the 48 hours between then and the game being pulled you’ll get it 90% cheaper.
Alan Wake sale on @steam_games 90% discount starting 5/13. Game will be removed from stores after 5/15 due to expiring music licenses. pic.twitter.com/y10DPgY8Q0May 12, 2017
The sale’s only happening on Steam, as Remedy has direct control of pricing there. It’ll be up to Microsoft and other individual stores whether or not discounts will be offered on the Xbox version of the game.
If you haven’t played Alan Wake before, we heartily recommend picking it up – not just because it’s ludicrously cheap, but because it’s a genuinely excellent horror game with a very Stephen King atmosphere.
If we’re honest, we expected and hoped for a sequel long before the original game disappeared into the ether. Just remember that if you do buy it, you’ll have to keep it installed or backed up forever just in case it doesn’t return to stores.
This is a stark reminder of something we’ve discussed on TechRadar before: that digital games aren’t permanent and we run the risk of losing them at any time.