The end of Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne suggested Remedy had at least one more story to tell. After all, the credits teased that “Max Payne’s journey through the night will continue.” It did continue nine years later, with the release of Rockstar’s Max Payne 3 in 2012. But what happened to Remedy’s involvement with the series? Were there ever plans for a follow-up from the original team? According to Creative Director Sam Lake, The Fall of Max Payne was always meant as Remedy’s final venture in the noir setting.
Though fans may assume the franchise’s long rest and Remedy’s absence was in response to less than stellar sales, Lake has deemed these assumptions incorrect. In an interview with ScreenRant, he disclosed the following:
After the first game came out, the IP rights were sold to Take-Two and Rockstar, and part of that deal was an agreement that we would create the sequel. So, you know, with that understanding, it was a nice situation. We have a lot of passion towards Max Payne. It was wonderful to create that, and to take certain ideas from the first one and… Making a sequel is great fun in many ways. But at the same time, that was all with the understanding that this will be the final Max Payne game for us. And you could kind of go through that emotional process while working on it, saying goodbye. So, from a creator’s perspective, that was a really nice way to go.
As for Rockstar’s work on the third entry, Lake shared nothing short of praise.
Rockstar guys, Dan Houser and the others, they reached out to us at a certain point in development (of Max Payne 3), and asked if we would be interested to play it through and give notes, which was really awesome and really nice from them. And it, to me, I mean, it most certainly looked like a Rockstar game. And it was their take on this idea, which was wonderful, I felt. It was much better in my mind to go that way than to try to maybe imitate too much what we would have done.
Rockstar’s spin on Max Payne’s story remains divisive among fans. Instead of a gritty nighttime New York setting, Max Payne 3 sent the protagonist to São Paulo, Brazil, years after Max Payne 2’s conclusion. Gone were the hard-boiled elements of the earlier entries, as the third iteration favored a vibrancy that, in gaming, almost feels unique to the Rockstar crime-drama.
Akin to Max Payne 2, Max Payne 3’s sales were nothing to write home about. Thus, we’re left wondering if Max’s journey through the night will continue once more. The statement’s absence during the last entry’s end credits indicates we’ve seen the last of the character. But who knows what Rockstar and Take-Two have up their sleeves?
Thankfully, another adventure from Remedy is on the horizon. Control launches in 2019.