Remedy’s latest title, Alan Wake II, is receiving rave reviews and is a strong game of the year contender. The studio is also working on a Control sequel and co-op spinoff to build on its success. However, Remedy is rethinking another game it had been developing.
In 2021, it was announced that Remedy was collaborating with Tencent on a free-to-play co-op shooter. Due to uncertainty in the market for free-to-play multiplayer games, the two sides have decided to change course. They are rebranding Project Vanguard as Project Kestrel, which will be a “premium game with a strong, cooperative multiplayer component.”
The game is returning to the concept stage with core leadership and some team members remaining on Kestrel. Others who were working on Vanguard are being reassigned to other Remedy teams. The studio plans to repurpose many of Vanguard’s assets, features, and themes for Kestrel, leaning more into Remedy’s core strengths.
“We have made some great strides in free-to-play and multiplayer development in Vanguard,” said Remedy CEO Tero Virtala. “After careful consideration, we believe that taking 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.”
Changing direction seems like a wise move. The free-to-play multiplayer shooter market is filled with strong competition such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Overwatch 2. As a result, several notable live service shooters have been shut down or canceled this year. One of those was CrossfireX, a free-to-play shooter that Remedy worked on, so the studio may be hesitant about re-entering that market anytime soon.