Alan Wake 2 will only be available to download when it releases on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC on October 17th, 2023.
The launch date was confirmed during the PlayStation Showcase, but it was only after the event in an official FAQ that people discovered that the game will actually be digital-only. According to the page, the game is forgoing a physical version due to the “large number” of customers who have shifted towards digital purchases. It adds that doing this allows publisher Epic Games to not increase the price, which we’ve seen with several other recent games, as well as a desire to avoid shipping a disc that still needs a download.
It’s unclear whether this was a decision made by developer Remedy Entertainment or Epic Games, but it’s nonetheless a limiting one for some players. While it’s true that physical games are declining in popularity (analytics firm NewZoo estimated that 72 percent of game sales in 2022 were digital), it’s shocking to see a high-profile game like Alan Wake 2 skip a physical version entirely.
For one, nearly 30 percent of sales still being physical is a not insignificant sum, and it’s unclear how many of those people would shift to digital for Alan Wake 2.
What’s more, physical allows the owner to share with others or even trade-in or sell their copy afterward, which is especially important for some. (Of course, removing the lack of a physical option also means that Epic doesn’t lose out on second-hand sales like this.) Physical copies are also better for preservation, as it’s not uncommon for digital titles — including Remedy’s own Alan Wake and Quantum Break — to be removed from storefronts due to expired licensing deals.
With major companies like Epic and Remedy making such a move, it remains to be seen what other high-profile studios might follow suit.
For now, more information on Alan Wake 2 can be found on the PlayStation Blog.
For all of the announcements from Sony’s PlayStation Showcase, follow this link.
Source: Epic Games/Remedy Entertainment