Remedy’s latest title, Alan Wake II, is generating strong buzz and is a strong contender for game of the year. The studio is hoping to capitalize on this success with several other games in the pipeline, including a sequel to Control and a co-op spinoff. However, Remedy is also returning to the drawing board for another game it has been developing.
In 2021, it was revealed that Remedy was working on a free-to-play co-op shooter with Tencent, known as Project Vanguard. However, due to the uncertain nature of the free-to-play multiplayer game market, the studio and Tencent have decided to change direction. They will be rebooting Project Vanguard as Project Kestrel, which will be a “premium game with a strong, cooperative multiplayer component.”
This shift in focus has resulted in the game going back to the concept stage, with core leadership and some team members retained for Project Kestrel. Other individuals who were previously working on Vanguard are being reassigned to other teams within Remedy. The studio has stated that Kestrel will “lean more into Remedy’s core strengths” and plans to repurpose many of Vanguard’s assets, features, and themes for the new game.
Remedy’s CEO, Tero Virtala, highlighted the studio’s decision to change direction, stating, “We have made some great strides in free-to-play and multiplayer development in Vanguard. After a lot of careful consideration, we believe that taking on a new direction where the game will be built more around Remedy’s core competences is the right way to go. We are creating another distinct Remedy game with Tencent’s continued support in making a great cooperative multiplayer experience.”
The decision to shift focus away from free-to-play multiplayer games appears to be a strategic move. The market is saturated with high-profile competition, including games like Apex Legends, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Overwatch 2. Consequently, a number of notable live service shooters have been either shut down or canceled this year. Notably, CrossfireX, a free-to-play shooter that Remedy worked on, was among those that faced challenges in the market. This experience likely informs the studio’s decision to approach multiplayer gaming in a different way with Project Kestrel.
Overall, Remedy’s decision to refocus its efforts on a premium, cooperative multiplayer game reflects the changing landscape of the gaming industry. By leveraging its core strengths and repurposing existing assets, the studio aims to create a unique gaming experience that sets itself apart from the crowded free-to-play multiplayer market. With Tencent’s support, Remedy is poised to deliver a compelling and engaging cooperative multiplayer game with Project Kestrel.