Remedy Entertainment is a Finnish video game company and the developer of Control. Other notable titles of theirs include the highly influential Max Payne series, award-winning cult classic Alan Wake, and critically acclaimed television-video game hybrid Quantum Break. Remedy is known for the cinematic action and high storytelling quality of their games.
Tero Virtala is the current CEO of Remedy Entertainment. Mikael Kasurinen, known for his work on Alan Wake and Quantum Break, is the game director of Control, while Sam Lake, Remedy's creative director, is the game's chief writer.
Remedy Entertainment was founded in 1995 and consisted primarily of developers from different demoscene groups. Their first title, a racing game known as Death Rally, was released in 1996. Remedy went on to produce a third-person film noir-inspired crime shooter entitled Max Payne. Due to limited resources and finances, the team were used themselves as well as friends and family as models for the characters in the game. Max Payne, released in 2001, was a commercial and critical success, leading to the 2003 sequel Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne.
In 2005, Remedy announced a new title, the psychological action thriller Alan Wake, which would be released only on Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows as part of a publishing contract with Microsoft. The game was in development for over five years, an unusually long time for the industry, and was released in 2010. While financially unsuccessful, Alan Wake was critically acclaimed and became a cult classic, and Time magazine named it the number one game of 2010. Alan Wake was followed by a shorter XLBA sequel entitled Alan Wake's American Nightmare.
After unsuccessfully pitching an Alan Wake sequel to Microsoft, Remedy began development of Quantum Break, a new cinematic title combining the medium of video games with that of a live action TV show. While the TV show segments were met with mixed reviews, Quantum Break, released in 2016, was critically acclaimed. Development of Control began shortly before Quantum Break's release, and has continued concurrently with Remedy's development of the first-person CrossFire 2 and an unknown third project.
Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Quantum Break were all chiefly written by Sam Lake, Remedy's creative director, who has represented the company on numerous occasions.
Death Rally was released in 1996 for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows. It is a top-down vehicular combat racing game in which players upgrade their vehicles' weaponry, armor, and performance while engaging in intense combat-based races. Death Rally was remastered in 2011 for Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, and Fire OS.
Max Payne was Remedy's first major title, released in 2001. Written by Sam Lake, the game revolves around an ex-New York detective as he uncovers an elaborate conspiracy behind the deaths of his wife and daughter, all while evading arrest after being framed for the murder of his partner. Max Payne was heavily influenced by the film noir genre, with cutscenes consisting of graphic novel strips accompanied by Payne's monologue and jazz music.
Max Payne was well-received and is often considered a classic, especially famous for introducing The Matrix-esque "bullet time" into gaming. Max Payne was followed by a 2003 sequel, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, continuing the protagonist's story and exploring his relationship with the mysterious femme fatale, Mona Sax. Like its predecessor, Max Payne 2 was a critical and commercial success.
In 2008, a live-action film adaptation of Max Payne directed by John Moore was released. Mark Wahlberg portrayed the titular character. In 2012, Rockstar Games (known for developing bestselling series such as Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption) released Max Payne 3 to critical acclaim, with James McCaffrey reprising his role as the voice of Max. McCaffrey would later voice Zachariah Trench in Control, a character heavily inspired by Payne. Max Payne 3 was well-received and highly successful, but was not produced by Remedy Entertainment, and was not written by Sam Lake.
See: Alan Wake
Originally imagined as a proper sequel to Alan Wake, Quantum Break emerged from Microsoft's desire to create a new intellectual property to diversify its lineup. Released in 2016, Quantum Break tells the story of Jack Joyce and his struggle against his best friend, Paul Serene, after a time-travel experiment goes awry, causing a fracture that will ultimately lead to the end of time itself. Jack, armed with time-altering powers, fights against the evil organization Monarch Solutions to prevent the end of time before it can occur, while Paul, leading Monarch, tries to stop him.
Quantum Break was a fusion of video game and live-action TV, with each segment of the game being separated by a TV episode focusing on the game's antagonists. Quantum Break also featured various high-profile actors, including Shawn Ashmore, Aidan Gillen, Dominic Monaghan, and Lance Reddick. Courtney Hope, the actress who plays Jesse Faden in Control, is also featured as the character Beth Wilder. Like Remedy's other games, Quantum Break was a critical success, praised for its story and gameplay.
In 2013, Remedy released Agents of Storm, an iOS exclusive 3D strategy game set in an archipelago of tropical islands and depicting the struggles of the agency known as STORM against the nefarious Chimera Corporation. Remedy are also working on producing the story mode of CrossFire 2, sequel to the immensely successful online first-person shooter CrossFire by Smilegate. Remedy is currently in the pre-production phase for an unannounced new title, which will not be a sequel to Alan Wake.
- Alan Wake and Quantum Break both make references to Altered World Events and hint at the existence of the Federal Bureau of Control. The earliest of these references appeared six years before the announcement of Control. Control, meanwhile, confirms the existence of a shared universe between itself and Alan Wake.