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Remedy’s free-to-play multiplayer project Vanguard is now Kestrel, a ‘premium’ co-op game

Remedy has announced plans to change the direction of its multiplayer project, codenamed Vanguard.

According to the Alan Wake 2 studio, the project will now have the new codename Kestrel and will no longer be a free-to-play multiplayer game.

Instead, Kestrel will be a “premium game with a strong, co-operative multiplayer component”.

The game, which is being published by Tencent, had recently ended its proof-of-concept phase, at which point Remedy and Tencent evaluated the project’s next steps.

A statement made by Remedy explains that both companies agreed that making the game free-to-play may be risky as the market changes.

“Due to uncertainties in creating a successful game to the rapidly changing free-to-play market and associated risks, the parties have discussed a new direction for the game project, which will be given the new codename Kestrel,” it said.

Kestrel will now return to a concept phase, with some of the Vanguard development team moving to work on other Remedy projects.

The core leadership and “select members of the development team” will stay on the Kestrel project and “will focus on the project’s new direction from the concept stage onwards”.

Remedy’s free-to-play multiplayer project Vanguard is now Kestrel, a ‘premium’ co-op game
Remedy recently released Alan Wake 2 to widespread critical acclaim.

In a statement, Remedy CEO Tero Virtala said: “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.”

Last month Remedy gave updates on its upcoming titles, including Control 2 and the Max Payne 1 and 2 remakes.

“Control 2 continues in the proof-of-concept stage,” it explained. “The plans for this sequel are ambitious, and we have seen good progress both in the designs and in the game build. We will continue at this stage for the next few quarters. We focus on proving the identified key elements before moving to the next stage and scaling up the team.”

It also noted that the Max Payne 1 and 2 remake “progressed into the production readiness stage”, adding: “We have gained clarity on the style and scope of the game, and we have an exceptionally well-organized team working on it. With these accomplishments, we are excited about the project and its future success.”