Free-to-play deemed just too risky.
The dual-R new logo for Remedy Entertainment.

Remedy Entertainment announced their plans to reboot a project known only as codename Vanguard. This upcoming title was set to be a free-to-play multiplayer game, with next to nothing else known about it. This reboot comes with several significant changes, the least of which is a change in the codename from Vanguard to Kestrel.

The bigger change is the fact that the plan for a free-to-play game has been ditched with a shift to making a premium game "with a strong, cooperative multiplayer component." Remedy cites unspecified "uncertainties" when it comes to the free-to-play market in addition to that market just being super risky.

Remedy signed a global agreement with Tencent as its publishing partner on December 28, 2021, to develop Vanguard. Due to uncertainties in creating a successful game to the rapidly changing free-to-play market and associated risks, the parties have discussed a new direction for the game project, which will be given the new codename, “Kestrel.”

The reboot comes as the project has reached the end of its proof-of-concept phase and after Remedy and Tencent had time to evaluate the project’s status and its next steps.

The project will return to a concept phase. Part of the former Vanguard development team will move to work on Remedy’s other ongoing projects, while the core leadership and select members of the development team of Kestrel will focus on the project’s new direction from the concept stage onwards to create a premium game with a strong cooperative multiplayer component. The new experience will lean more into Remedy’s core strengths and be built on many of the features, assets and themes already designed for Vanguard.​
Remedy CEO Tero Virtala says that Kestrel will be "built more around Remedy's core competences." They continue on to say that they are "creating another distinct Remedy game with Tencent's continued support."

Remedy Entertainment is coming off of their highly acclaimed release of Alan Wake 2. Alan Wake 2 received quite a bit of praise from critics and players alike and also just recently tied with Baldur's Gate 3 for the most nominations in The Game Awards 2023.