Alan Wake's journey through the night is going dark. Developer Remedy Entertainment revealed that the game will be removed from all physical and digital retail channels as of Monday, May 15 due to expiring music license rights. Remedy's planning a special 90-percent off Steam sale starting on Saturday so as many latecomers as possible can start hoarding batteries and blasting shadow zombies.
Alan Wake sale on @steam_games 90% discount starting 5/13. Game will be removed from stores after 5/15 due to expiring music licenses. pic.twitter.com/y10DPgY8Q0May 12, 2017
If you already own Alan Wake or buy it before it's delisted, you should still be able to download it whenever you want - and yes, it's backwards compatible on Xbox One. This change just applies on the purchase side. Remedy said on its official forum that it's "looking into relicensing the music for Alan Wake" but it doesn't have any timeframe for that yet.
Best to treat the delisting as indefinite and - if you haven't played Alan Wake yet - buy it so hard. It's a very competent action-horror game built into and around the best storytelling that Remedy has ever done. And I'm saying that as a massive fan of Max Payne's self-aware, film-noir inspired comic cutscenes. Plus, the questionable DLC epilogue (which contains Alan Wake's "true" ending) isn't all that aggravating now that the whole thing is so cheap.
Alan Wake's American Nightmare, a standalone downloadable followup, won't be affected by this change. Remedy explained that it did the negotiations for American Nightmare's soundtrack but not for Alan Wake's - that was likely handled by original publisher Microsoft. And it is quite a soundtrack, spanning Harry Nilsson's "Coconut" to Poe's "Haunted", not to mention two bespoke songs by Poets of the Fall (performing as fictional elderly rockers Old Gods of Asgard).
Read our list of the 25 greatest video game soundtracks of all time for more surprisingly sweet tunes.