Alan Wake 2 fails to lure 54% of first game's huge PS Plus audience

Alan Wake 2's peak PS5 player count has grown by 26.54% since its debut, but the game's player count trails behind the PS Plus debut of Alan Wake Remastered.

Alan Wake 2 fails to lure 54% of first game's huge PS Plus audience
Lee Brady

Lee Brady

Published

With tons of media attention and a devoted fan base ready to hunt down all of those Alan Wake 2 trophies at launch, it's been a little disappointing to see Alan Wake II's peak PS5 player count struggling to outperform titles we've not thought much about at all, like Disney Speedstorm. That said, it's all the more frustrating that the game couldn't fully capitalize on the debut of one of the best PlayStation Plus games this year, Alan Wake Remastered.

Alan Wake 2's PS Plus advantage snuffed by Marvel's Spider-Man 2

We've been tracking the active player count of every big PS5 game launch in 2023 with our exclusive gameplay data from 3.2 million active PSN accounts (courtesy of our partnership with GameInsights). We've also noticed that most PS5 games tend to see more active players on their first full week after launch — this is the case for Alan Wake 2, which saw a 26.54% increase in active PS5 players on the week ending Sunday, November 5, 2023.
As promising as this new peak PS5 player count is for the horror game, it still falls considerably short of the PS Plus debut of Alan Wake Remastered as one of the PS Plus Essential games of July 2023. While some might have hoped the game would be able to capitalize off its roaring success on PS Plus Essential, unfortunately, Alan Wake Remastered's PS Plus debut saw 54.65% more active PS5 and PS4 players than Alan Wake 2 saw PS5 players at its current peak.

There are numerous reasons why the much-anticipated sequel might lag behind its earlier version — obviously, the fact it's not a 'free' monthly PS Plus game could be one of those reasons. However, as a big glossy release with a huge media presence, it's more likely that its debut has been somewhat overshadowed by another new title. Judging by Marvel's Spider-Man 2's massive peak PS5 player count, I'd venture it was proximity to Insomniac Games' latest that did the most damage.

Alan Wake 2's peak PS5 player count compared to October 2023's biggest PS5 games

#1Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (161.97% higher player peak)
#2EA Sports FC 24 (138.70% higher player peak)
#3Assassin's Creed Mirage (78.17% higher player peak)
#4My Hero Ultra Rumble (38.15% higher player peak)
#5Alan Wake 2 (-)
#6Disney Speedstorm (3.69% lower player peak)
#7Lords of the Fallen (15.84% lower player peak)
#8Sonic Superstars (143.06% lower player peak)

Above, you can see some of the most successful PS5 and PS4 games that launched in late September 2023 and October 2023 which hit their PS5 player count peak in the same month as Alan Wake 2. From My Hero Academia to Sonic the Hedgehog, a lot of popular franchises decided to make October 2023 a battleground for PS5 and PS4 owners' wallets. It seems Alan Wake 2 might have got caught in the crossfire of that great battle of the brands.
A month that starts with a new FIFA replacement and a middling Assassin's Creed Mirage review would be distracting enough for a series still yet to find its footing on PlayStation. Having Marvel's Spider-Man 2 launch a week earlier to tremendous hype and sales success is just the sour cherry on top.

However, that's not to say things have done all too poorly for Remedy Entertainment's latest Alan Wake game. Given the fact that Alan Wake 2 is a horror title, and a psychologically mature one at that, its audience was going to be somewhat limited compared to the broad appeal of a Marvel superhero. Plus, given that it's the sequel to a 13-year-old game that also started life as an Xbox exclusive, it really could have stood to perform a lot worse on PS5.
Here's hoping that word of mouth, a few Game Award nods, and a future entry on our best PS5 horror games will make the difference and see more players give Alan Wake 2 a spin. Have you had the chance to play this new horror gem? What do you think hindered its PS5 player count? Let us know in the comments below.

Chart compiled using gameplay data from over 3.2 million active PlayStation accounts (not just TrueTrophies accounts). Chart information is copyright GameInsights. Regarding this data:
  • Popularity is measured by a game being booted up and played, not by the length of time played.
  • Our data is good for suggesting general trends — we represent this using percentages, not numbers.
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Shadow x Sonic Generations), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium games), and his secret third eye on junk he really likes (Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts games). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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