Alan Wake 2 cracks open the gates of the Remedy Connected Universe in huge ways, and Remedy Entertainment is already looking to expand it. I’m not talking about Alan Wake 2 DLC either. The Max Payne studio has filed a new trademark that directly references the Control franchise, which could be our first inkling of what the mysterious ‘Project Condor’ is going to be. While that gives me, a die-hard fan of Remedy’s work, reason to get excited (and go into full detective mode), I’m also a little worried about whether this project will end up being a blemish on Remedy’s impeccable record.
Initially spotted by Respawn First, Remedy Entertainment appears to be moving forward with a potential new PS5 game under the moniker ‘FBC: Firebreak’. FBC refers to the Federal Bureau of Control, but it is the Firebreak aspect of the name which has me intrigued. In Control lore, a Firebreak isn’t just any old word. In fact, it refers to hidden or restricted areas in the Oldest House – the FBC’s headquarters in New York City, and the setting of Control. These bizarre areas work in an almost supernatural sense, connecting the Oldest House to areas with otherworldly attributes or secret locations. They mainly serve to keep unwanted supernatural entities from spreading throughout the Oldest House itself.
It reminds me of the Construct in The Matrix franchise, which allows Neo and his cohorts to enter any place within the Matrix simulation, simply by opening doors. And if you’ve played Control or Alan Wake 2, you’ll know that doors like the ones in the Oceanview Motel are a gateway to other places within the Remedy Connected Universe. Now, I’m ruling Alan Wake 2 DLC out of the equation because Remedy already announced The Lake House expansion – a Control-focused narrative – last year. Project Vanguard can also be left out of this speculation, as Remedy confirmed in a recent press release that it will be pivoting to a different focus. However, we can factor in what this project has become: Project Kestrel.
Initially pitched as a “cooperative, free-to-play multiplayer game”, Kestrel now reflects a “premium game with a strong, cooperative multiplayer component.” Currently, Kestrel is in the “concept phase” with collaborator Tencent. It is possible that this trademark applies to this shift in direction, but perhaps it is too early for Kestrel to have any kind of identity yet. That brings us to Project Condor, a potential addition to the best multiplayer games around.
Control 2 is in the works right now, known as Codename Heron internally. It was announced in 2021, alongside Condor. According to a Remedy statement at the time, Condor is a PvE, four-player multiplayer experience, with a budget of €25 million, which equates to around $27.3 million. As Condor has been in the works longer than Vanguard/Kestrel, I believe Condor is FBC: Firebreak. Furthermore, Condor is being brought to life by Control publisher 505 Games directly alongside Remedy.
However, I am dubious whether a multiplayer Control game will thrive in today’s PS5 and Xbox market. The live-service model continues to see numerous closures, with once ambitious games like Marvel’s Avengers, Hyper Scape, and Knockout City all sunsetting in the last year. There’s a chance the same fate could swiftly knock Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League out of view in the next 12 months. Remedy Entertainment has a loyal fan base, and even more goodwill off the back of Alan Wake 2.
However, even though I’m one of the biggest flag bearers I know for Remedy’s work, I can admit that the Remedy Connected Universe has a niche appeal at present. Selling players on a Control-themed multiplayer title won’t be easy, given how obtuse Control’s narrative and setting already is. Let’s hope that impeccable track record remains intact as Remedy ushers in new Xbox games and PS5 titles to enjoy.