Remedy scraps plans for a free-to-play multiplayer game

The studio and Tencent are retooling Project Vanguard as a premium co-op title.

Remedy Entertainment

Remedy's latest title, Alan Wake II, is garnering rave reviews and is a surefire game of the year contender. The studio will be hoping to build on that success with the several other games it has in the works, including a Control sequel and co-op spinoff. However, Remedy is going back to the drawing board with another game it has been piecing together.

It emerged in 2021 that the studio was working on a free-to-play co-op shooter with Tencent. Given the uncertainty of the market for free-to-play multiplayer games, though, the two sides have decided to go in a different direction. They're rebooting Project Vanguard as Project Kestrel, which will be a "premium game with a strong, cooperative multiplayer component."

The game is going back to a concept stage with core leadership and some members of the team remaining on Kestrel. Other folks who were working on Vanguard are being reassigned to other Remedy teams. The studio says Kestrel will "lean more into Remedy’s core strengths." It plans to repurpose many of Vanguard's assets, features and themes for Kestrel.

“We have made some great strides in free-to-play and multiplayer development in Vanguard," Remedy CEO Tero Virtala said in a statement. "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."

Changing tack feels like a smart move. The free-to-play multiplayer shooter market is saturated with high-profile competition such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone and Overwatch 2. As a result, a number of 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 forgiven for feeling wary about re-entering that fray anytime soon.