Dead by Daylight has an eccentric cast, and Behaviour Interactive alternates between adding its own handcrafted characters and licensing iconic Killers and Survivors from franchises like Hellraiser, Resident Evil, and The Ring. Alan Wake is the newest licensed Survivor, and he fits perfectly in the Dead by Daylight universe — largely because he’s both a talented artist and kind of a shitty person.
Collaboration between Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment and Behaviour Interactive started when Alan Wake 2 was still in development, so the original game served as the basis for his visuals and personality. It also meant there wasn’t a strong candidate for a good Killer. The first Alan Wake games have the Taken, the generic corrupted residents of Bright Falls, and Mr. Scratch, Alan’s evil doppelganger. Neither is great in a game where distinguishing between a Killer and a Survivor is crucial.
Alan himself, though, is a perfect fit. He spends most of the time in his first game dodging hatchets and other projectiles, powering up generators, and shining a flashlight around. These are all actions that map directly onto the core mechanics of Dead by Daylight, which pits four Survivors against one lethal Killer. The Survivors must power up generators around the map to open up a gate that allows them to temporarily escape and win the round — and they have to do it with the help of tools like flashlights.
The catch is that the cast of Dead by Daylight is caught in a nightmare realm, ruled over by an eldritch creature called the Entity. It’s a very similar situation to Alan’s Dark Place, a surreal mirror realm ruled over by an equally ominous Dark Presence. Alan is lured to the Dark Place via a getaway to the scenic Cauldron Lake in Bright Falls. Later Remedy games like Control and Alan Wake 2 would expand on the lore, but the story of the first game fits right in among several Dead by Daylight character biographies.
Alan is also an artist — specifically a bestselling novelist with a nasty case of writer’s block. The Dead by Daylight cast is absolutely packed with artists who work in mediums like graffiti, surrealist paintings, country music, K-pop, and murals. The Entity’s Realm, similarly to the Dark Place, reflects a person’s life and experiences back to them in a warped, distorted way. Artists, especially angsty noir writers like Alan, are a natural target for the Entity. In his Dead by Daylight character bio, it’s explained that Alan Wake did manage to escape from the Dark Place but wound up in the Entity’s Realm in a classic frying pan/fire scenario.
Finally, we have Alan’s talent for monologuing. He has unique lines in Dead by Daylight that play during certain scenarios. It simply wouldn’t be Alan Wake if he couldn’t dramatically muse on his murderous misfortunes, after all.
Is this canon? It certainly could be. Is Alan Wake manifesting the Entity and its realm through his noir writing? Or is the Entity’s Realm simply next door to the Dark Place, and Alan stumbled in?
There’s still no Killer, although in a presser attended by Polygon, creative director Dave Richard speculated that there’s a “monster in there that could have been a great fit” now that he has played Alan Wake 2. It’s not in the game now, but he said “never say never” when it comes to future collaboration between Behaviour and Remedy. For now, Alan will be spending his foreseeable time in the Entity’s Realm dodging Killers like the Huntress, Freddy Krueger, and Nemesis.