James Orry by on Aug 29, 2012

2K insisted on Spec Ops multiplayer even at detriment of the overall game, says lead designer

Spec Ops: The Line multiplayer was “tacked on” and “should not exist”, lead designer Cory Davis has told Polygon.

Chatting about the game’s multiplayer component, Davis said the decision to include such a mode was entirely the doing of 2K.

“The multiplayer mode of Spec Ops: The Line was never a focus of the development,” Davis said, “but the publisher was determined to have it anyway. It 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.”

Multiplayer development was handed to Darkside Studios, which Davis said resulted in the creation of a “low-quality Call of Duty clone in third-person,” which “tossed out the creative pillars of the product.”

“It sheds a negative light on all of the meaningful things we did in the single-player experience,” Davis said. “The multiplayer game’s tone is entirely different, the game mechanics were raped to make it happen, and it was a waste of money. 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.”

Despite his misgivings towards the multiplayer, Davis believes 2K backed a game many other publishers would have stayed clear of.

“They took a hell of a lot of risk with the project that other publishers would not have had the balls to take,” Davis said. “I’m proud of what we were able to achieve, and it was not easy.”

“I wouldn’t redo anything,” Davis concluded.


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Spec Ops: The Line

on PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

A third-person modern military shooter that challenges players’ morality.

Release Date:

29 June 2012