Alan Wake 2 just got an official release date — October 17th — but you won’t be able to buy a physical copy of the game, developer Remedy Entertainment revealed in an FAQ on Wednesday. Remedy has three arguments as to why: it says that many players have shifted to only buying games digitally, not releasing the game on disc keeps the price down, and the studio didn’t want to require a separate download even if it released a disc product.
Here’s the company’s full explanation, from the FAQ:
Why is Alan Wake 2 a digital-only release?
There are many reasons for this. 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.
Finally, we did not want to ship a disc product and have it require a download for the game — we do not think this would make for a great experience either.
I’m sympathetic to Remedy’s arguments here. I haven’t bought a physical game in years, and I’m happy to see that Alan Wake II won’t be the next $70 game in part because of this decision. But I strongly believe that games should be offered both in digital and physical editions, especially because physical editions may be a better option for those with poor internet connections or who want to collect games for archival purposes.
Typically, I’d conclude an article like this by saying that I hope Remedy rethinks its digital-only decision for Alan Wake 2. But based on the next question in its FAQ, I’m not hopeful that’s going to happen:
Is there a disc-based version of Alan Wake 2 in the works?
There are currently no plans to release Alan Wake 2 on disc.
Alan Wake 2 will be released on PS5, Xbox Series X / S, and PC via the Epic Games Store on October 17th.