The sequel would continue to star Alan Wake as the protagonist, but it would also explore the stories of the supporting characters including Wake's friend Barry Wheeler and Sheriff Sarah Breaker. A prototype was created to show off the gameplay of Alan Wake 2 when the studio was showing the game to potential publishers. Most of the ideas for Alan Wake 2 were implemented in American Nightmare, a downloadable follow-up for the original Alan Wake game. When Quantum Break was announced, Sam Lake explained that a sequel to Alan Wake had been postponed, and that Alan Wake was not financially successful enough to receive the funding they needed to continue developing the sequel at the time. Director of communications Thomas Puha stated in April 2019 that Remedy had briefly returned to work on an Alan Wake property about two years prior, but the effort did not work out, and the company is presently booked for the next few years, between their own new game Control, supporting Smilegate on its game CrossFire, and another new project. Puha said that the only limited factor for them to work on an Alan Wake sequel was "time, money, and resources". Despite that, Lake continued to be part of a team in Remedy to brainstorm ideas and work on different incarnations for Alan Wake II. In July 2019, Remedy fully acquired the rights to Alan Wake from Microsoft, including a one-time royalty payment of about €2.5 million for the game series' past sales, which helped pave the way for a sequel. Lake further added that players will not need to play the previous games in order to understand Alan Wake II. Remedy confirmed the game will remain in the third-person perspective despite the switch to survivor horror, and that both Ilkka Villi and Matthew Porretta will return to provide the appearance and the voice of Alan, respectively.
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