“In a horror story, the victim keeps asking “why?”But there can be no explanation, and there shouldn’t be,” Wake continues. “The unanswered secret is what we will remember the longest, and we will remember it in the end. My name is Alan Wake. I’m a writer.”

That’s how I usually introduce myself too. But Alan Wake would never have been able to enjoy this memorable introduction if Stephen King himself had not sold the rights to his quote to the developer Remedy for only $1.

Remedy Creative Director and Alan Wake writer Sam Lake told Eurogamer at the Summer Game Fest before his performance at the Tribeca Festival.

“When I created the original Alan Wake, I really, really desperately wanted a [Stephen King] quote to start with,” Lake said. “From what I understand, he wanted $1 for us to get the rights to use.”

Lake called the price “very generous”; Kotaku contacted Remedy for more information about the affordable offer.

The quote that finally made it into Alan Wake’s Intro comes from a 2008 pleasure Weekly essay that King wrote about “why Hollywood can’t do horror.”

“Horror is an devoted experience, something that takes place mainly in itself, and when it works, the screams of a sold-out house are almost intrusive,” King wrote. His philosophy applies well to solitary horror experiences like Alan Wake, and so you can see his influence everywhere in the game, especially in his multiple references to The Shining.

Alan Wake 2, whose Kotaku editor-in-chief Alyssa Mercante said that after his time with a practical demo, he “[Doubles] the twisted and brilliant plot of the series”, could continue the homage. We will find out on October 17 when it is released on PS5, Xbox Series X/s and PC.

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