Yeah Microsoft had the publishing rights, but remedy always owned the IP for Alan Wake. I believe Microsoft owns the IP for Quantum Break, though. Alan Wake really wasn’t a very big hit on the 360 either.
I remember seeing media for this game back in 2005 or 2006 (something like that) with the prototype running on the newest iteration of their Max-FX engine. The game was originally going to be a open world survival game, kind of like Silent Hill. With day and night cycles and being able to explore the town and woods. They even showed it off at some Intel event for the Q6600, or something like that.
But Microsoft came in and funded development of the game, they also made it an Xbox360 exclusive. The game was also scaled down to be more like the first two Max Payne games in gameplay progression. They were limited by the 360’s 512MB of RAM. Max Payne 2 from 2003 on the PC recommended 512MB of memory. Alan Wake was released in 2009. It’s like a slower paced Max Payne with a survival horror element. It’s a good game still. It was received well as a 360 game, but wasn’t a big hit.
It does make the most sense that remedy had to get permission from Microsoft for the PC port that was released in 2012. Which is the best way to play this game, since you can run it at 4K and 120fps. Also plays well with a keyboard and mouse. This version actually sold really well on PC. I think Steamspy marked it as selling about four million copies on that platform or so. Then there is also the GOG sales. But the game was de-listed in 2017 because of some music licensing issues. But it has returned.
Now that Remedy has the publishing rights, I think they should just remaster this game and release it on current gen consoles, Switch and even release a new PC remaster? Maybe they could contact Nightdive Studios?