Remedy comms director says upcoming live-service Control spin-off is 'for fans we don't have yet' as he muses on 'how challenging the co-op multiplayer space is'

 Four people sitting on a bench with a dead body in a body bag at their feet.
Four people sitting on a bench with a dead body in a body bag at their feet.

Late last week, we got some news on Remedy's multiplayer control spinoff, Condor, which is set to be a "service-based fixed price" game. And while Alan Wake 2's success helped bolster support for this upcoming game as well as others like Control 2 and the Max Payne 1 and 2 remakes, Remedy knows that development won't be straightforward—or at least the communications director does.

"We are well aware of how challenging the co-op multiplayer space is," Thomas Puha, the communications director for Remedy, says in a Twitter post. "I'd like to think we have realistic expectations (outside the company expectations always seem to be wild), but also be realistic that you never can plan and prepare for everything, just gotta roll with the punches. Tbh, every published game seems a small miracle these days."

The idea that it's challenging to break into the multiplayer live service arena is something of an understatement. There are countless options out there for players to pick from, which means new games in this genre need to demonstrate above and beyond why they're worth a look.

At the end of 2023, we saw Lethal Company rise to fame. While this small multiplayer horror game certainly wasn't very polished, it was different enough from what was available to get players flocking to distant moons in search of scrap. But it's not just new games that Condor will have to compete with, as some of the classics are still unbeatable. Left 4 Dead 2 may be up there as one of my favourite multiplayer PvE games of all time. Herding my ragtag group of friends through Diescraper only to be flung out a window by a tank is still great fun, even if it doesn't sound like it.

"A thing I find fascinating is whenever our WIP multiplayer stuff gets mentioned, like Condor from our financial report last week, is some level of concern around why and do our fans want it," Puha says in a Twitter post. "The way I look at it is, it's for fans we don't have yet! We need to grow our audience, and I welcome the challenge. Doing different types of games is good if super challenging these days, even if we also know to stick to mostly what we know best and keep improving on that."

We've seen plenty of publishers attempt to pivot to live service games, like Naughty Dog's now cancelled The Last of Us multiplayer or Warner Bros.'s aim to increase its focus on free-to-play games, even after Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League's shaky reception. So this change of perspective isn't completely unexpected especially because of the idea that these are the kinds of games that will earn money thanks to in-game purchases and microtransactions.