You have until Monday to purchase a copy of Alan Wake, either by download or physical copy, because on May 16 the game will no longer be available. Steam will be offering a 48-hour sale for the game at 90% off to mark the occasion. You may be wondering why a seven-year-old game is suddenly in high demand with a discounted price of 90% on Steam. Turns out the music licensing for the game is about to expire and the game legally can’t be on the market with expired licenses.
For what it’s worth, Alan Wake is a pretty dope game for its time. Released on Xbox 360 in 2010 and PC in 2012, it contained an awesome combat system and a surreal atmosphere that made the world feel on edge. Along with the main character, someone you could actually get behind and not feel like the game got stale ten hours in. But part of that development included creating a specific vibe to the world, which was made possible through tunes by David Bowie, Roy Orbison, and Harry Nilsson, to name a few. Now those licenses are up and the game cannot be legally distributed without new licenses, which they probably won’t do.
As depressing as this may sound to some of you, licensing pop music in games comes with a ticking clock. Unlike films where it’s implied that the movie will be seen by millions year after year (even if it sits in repeat hell on TBS and Comedy Central), the music is tied to the film forever for that purpose. In gaming, however, it is assumed (correctly) that you won’t be playing Metal Gear Solid V once a week for the rest of your life, or that people will be buying it frequently after already owning it, so the rights have a shorter timespan that eventually expires. (Which means yes, one day, MSGV will be taken off the market as well.) The game actually does hold up after all this time, so I would recommend getting it, especially since starting tomorrow at 10 a.m., it’s going to be $3. Might as well get it while the getting’s good!