Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Life is Strange ending.
Heart rests at the center of Life is Strange’s success. Amidst the teenage angst, occasional odd dialogue, and tech issues is a lot of love. Apparently, Dontnod understood this, since Life is Strange’s explosive ending forces players to make a difficult choice. You either save Max’s hometown from destruction or save the life of her best friend. Essentially, Max either preserves thousands of lives or ensures the well being of the one person who matters most to her. According to Dontnod, there is no canon ending.
During a PAX West 2018 interview with USgamer, Life is Strange Writer Christian Divine was asked if the studio has an opinion on the game’s canon conclusion. The answer amounts to a resounding no, as Divine told the publication, “People can kind of create their own version of what happened.”
Philip Bache, Dontnod’s Voice Director, added
I am also a player. I play a lot of games. It would almost upset me to find out one is canon. Like, you’re being told, ‘Hey cool, you made a choice. That choice was wrong.’ I would feel bad because what’s so gut wrenching about the game is the choice at the end.
Divine noted that with regards to saving Arcadia Bay or saving Chloe,
The whole game builds up to literally that moment. The point of the game is not to give that linear conclusion. It’s a choose-your-own adventure book. You can ask which one is canon, but that’s not how it works in a choose-your-own adventure book.
Because Life is Strange 2 launches fans into a new story in the Life is Strange universe, Dontnod avoided making an ultimate decision. Fans have spoken, though, as half the playerbase chose to save Chloe, while the other half chose Arcadia Bay. Divine recalled the divide, saying, “It was amazing how close it was.”
Interestingly, a Life is Strange comic from Titan Comics will explore the fallout from Max’s saving Chloe. In the comic, the duo returns to Arcadia Bay after it has been destroyed.
As far as the games are concerned, Max’s and Chloe’s story ended years ago. Luckily, there’s still more of the series to come. Life is Strange 2’s first episode launches on September 27, 2018. The Life is Strange comic arrives sometime in November 2018.