Despite having some hype behind it, Spec Ops: The Line has proven to be an enormous disappointment across the board for 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive. One developer blames it all on the multiplayer, saying it “raped” the core gameplay.
Those strong words come from Spec Ops lead designer Cory Davis, who recounted to The Verge how the development team was forced to add multiplayer to the game:
“[Multiplayer] was literally a check box that the financial predictions said we needed, and 2K was relentless in making sure that it happened – even at the detriment of the overall project and the perception of the game,” Davis said in a far-reaching interview with Polygon. The multiplayer side of the Spec Ops coin was developed by Darkside Studios, who Davis said produced a “low-quality Call of Duty clone in third-person” that “tossed out the creative pillars of the product.”
Other members of the team also talked about the development process, and how often they butted head with 2K Games over the story, content, and general direction of the game, with some claiming they expected to be shut down.
Interestingly, even the announcement of Spec Ops: The Line proved to be a source of contention, as the publisher made the call to reveal the title two years before it would even be completed. Apparently, the gamble didn’t pay off, and 2K’s attempts to mold the game into a Call of Duty competitor ultimately hurt the final product beyond repair.
“It sheds a negative light on all of the meaningful things we did in the single-player experience. The multiplayer game’s tone is entirely different, the game mechanics were raped to make it happen, and it was a waste of money,” he continued. “No one is playing it, and I don’t even feel like it’s part of the overall package – it’s another game rammed onto the disk like a cancerous growth, threatening to destroy the best things about the experience that the team at Yager put their heart and souls into creating.”
Although most video game outlets gave Spec Ops: The Line passable review scores, the game didn’t sell well, netting less than half a million copies worldwide across all platforms.
By most counts, the game was fine, but the agressive 2K Games’ PR team members who handed it were absolutely horrid in pushing the third-person shooter title during previews and press events. Whatever the case, it’s probably fair to say that the series’ rebirth could be the start of another long hibernation until the next Spec Ops sequel.
Source: The Verge