Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line Multiplayer is a "Cancerous Growth," Says Lead Designer
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Spec Ops: The Line lead designer Corey Davis believes that the game’s multiplayer is a “cancerous growth” that was only included because of pressure from publisher 2K.

"Bullshit, should not exist ... there's no doubt that it's an overall failure," he said.

"The multiplayer mode of Spec Ops: The Line was never a focus of the development," said Davis, "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."

Davis believes that the result was 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," he continued. "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."

[via The Verge]


User Comments

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #1 by HVAC Techie
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:30:17 AM
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Well, that escalated quickly.

Forum Posts: 1669
Comment #2 by Grey Delta
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:31:04 AM
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I commend this guy for having the balls to speak out about this, too many games have multiplayer components tacked on just for the sake of it.

Forum Posts: 444
Comment #3 by a hippyslayer
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:31:21 AM
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Sounds like a good time...

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #4 by Vixen XXX
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:31:26 AM
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No point in whining about it now. Most games have multiplayer that is dead within 2 weeks anyway. If he felt so strongly about it he should have told 2k about it instead of being a bitch and then crying after the fact.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #5 by Wings of Regret
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:32:54 AM
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What a Speech.

Forum Posts: 30
Comment #6 by crunchb3rry
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:35:47 AM
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@2, it seems like this new trend of unhappy developers that feel they are slaves to the publisher. A lot more are doing this, basically saying "part of our game is a steaming pile of shit, but we were forced to put it in." It's fallout from the whole EA "every game must have multiplayer" mandate so they can peddle their Online Pass. Now all the competing publishers, as always, follow The Pied Piper Of EA blindly just to avoid losing sales to them because, god forbid, their game doesn't have tacked-on multiplayer too.

Forum Posts: 300
Comment #7 by Saracin
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:36:56 AM
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Well at least they didn't push any multiplayer achievements on us that forces us to play the good awful multiplayer like some other games. And Vixen, not all developers have the power to say no to their publisher.

Most of the time when they say you have to do something, you just bow your head and make it happen. I think his point isn't just to apologize for a crappy feature, but also to point out that in the end it lowered the overall score in reviews and thus hurt sales based on that perception.

Forum Posts: 48
Comment #8 by Ereaser NL
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:37:30 AM
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Respect for him, that he just tells this. And the good part about it that it's true. Publishers shouldn't have such a big influence on a game.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #9 by ActionAbe
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:40:03 AM
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like deadspace 2...

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #10 by MOYFplox
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:46:06 AM
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Good for him to say this. His arse is fired though!

Forum Posts: 518
Comment #11 by DOPE BOI
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:51:25 AM
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The single player was a treat. I very much enjoyed going through the game twice and encourage others to play it aswell.

I applaud him for standing up and saying what we all post, say, and think about shoe horning multiplayer into games.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #12 by Buckdawg
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:51:38 AM
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What publishers need to realise is that multiplayer WILL NOT save your game.

Even a game with GREAT multiplayer will still die out sooner rather than later due to so many competing titles out there. Gamer's already have their roots in their own online experiences now, most prefer COD, many prefer Halo, BF, Gears, or Fifa, and there's only so much time in a day to devote to your favorite pastime.

The best thing they can do is is focus on making a SOLID single player, make achievements easy so EVERYONE wants a piece, and plan some actual DECENT and WORTHWHILE DLC that keeps gamer's interested. By focusing on (often unwanted) multiplayer, you're signing the campaigns death warrant. Very, VERY few games have BOTH good solo AND multi play, most neglect one or the other, like COD with its short campaigns, or 007 Bloodstone with it's horrific online.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #13 by Nihlus87
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:52:45 AM
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I think there are a few games like this...Bioshock 2's was bloody awful...nothing but sad boosters. Dead Space 2's wasn't necessary, could of spent the extra effort on the single player. I could go on, but you can't blame developers, it's those higher ups.

Forum Posts: 300
Comment #14 by Saracin
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:53:22 AM
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@9 If you mean that its multiplayer was bad, I agree. But I think the idea for it was Visceral's. EA may have suggested they have an MP feature, but you can tell they tried to put some thought into it. I also believe ME3 and the upcoming Dragon Age 3's MP was Bioware's idea.
Sometimes companies want to challenge themselves to expand on the core idea and see what comes out of it. Sometimes you end up with something that worth playing and other times you end up with dead weight.

Forum Posts: 129
Comment #15 by SpKXmasSpirit
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:55:52 AM
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This seems as good a place as any to say that I will never forgive EA for its taking servers offline after 2 years bullshit.. don't include online achievements you asshats

Forum Posts: 845
Comment #16 by Hudson888
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 06:01:43 AM
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But they still made the multiplayer. They have to take some responsibility for it being rubbish.

Forum Posts: 73
Comment #17 by FuzzMan3000
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 06:02:52 AM
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Dead Space 2 and Bioshock 2 come to mind, both amazing single player games with boring online play. Kudos to the guy for speaking out, lets hope he doesn't get fired or anything!

Forum Posts: 110
Comment #18 by Doctor Gordon
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 06:29:29 AM
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this new make me remember of 007 bloodstone's multiplayer

Forum Posts: 1197
Comment #19 by Ninja Eagle
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 06:35:13 AM
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You know 2K, every game doesn't need to have multiplayer. Some of the best 360 games on the market don't have multiplayer. Elder Scrolls, Fallout come to mind. I'm hoping they make an even better Spec Ops game with either fixed or just no multiplayer

Forum Posts: 1197
Comment #20 by Ninja Eagle
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 06:37:13 AM
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Oh yeah and give that guy a cigar for coming out and having the cherries to say that. I'm looking at you Infinity Ward!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #21 by Mr Lillico
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 06:59:13 AM
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Don't give games multiplayer that don't need it!

Forum Posts: 129
Comment #22 by Earth Djinn
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 07:30:49 AM
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I never play multiplayer in those games where it's exceptionally obvious that it was thrown in just for the hell of it.

Dead Space 2 is another example of this; I've literally never even entered the multiplayer menu for that game, let alone played it. i'm just glad they don't attach achievements to it so I can happily avoid them and just enjoy the single player game.

Forum Posts: 7108
Comment #23 by Opiate42
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 07:57:08 AM
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This game is still on my must-play list, truly enjoyed the demo. But not until I get about 10 more games off my shelf.

Forum Posts: 83
Comment #24 by Wilkz07
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 08:03:56 AM
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Have respect for the guy to come out and admit its shit and only in there because 2k wanted multiplayer. The solo campaign was one of the best gameexperiences i have had in a long time.

Forum Posts: 2988
Comment #25 by Dirty130
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 08:04:12 AM
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Good for him and saying how he truly feels.

Forum Posts: 910
Comment #26 by TacticalTodger
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 08:14:48 AM
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Dead space 2, Bioshock 2, Assassin's creed Brotherhood and beyond. Just a few games that do NOT need MP, what happened to the times were people used to buy games for SP?

Forum Posts: 68
Comment #27 by NorseForce28
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 08:33:47 AM
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@4, Yeah, like you would say that had you been in his position. What I gathered from this is that 2K said to throw multiplayer in there or the game might not have even existed. You would do the same thing, don't try to say you'd be different.

Forum Posts: 2006
Comment #28 by XoNiNjAlEoNoX
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 08:42:19 AM
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Forum Posts: 159
Comment #29 by skaghead
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 09:11:19 AM
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I don't understand why all these tacked on MPs are the same, horde/team shooters/deathmatch efforts,why not something completly different? For example mass effect why not have the MP as space combat,Bioshock 2 a submarine racing game?

Forum Posts: 336
Comment #30 by Thicketford
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 09:27:03 AM
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Props to the man for having the balls to come out and say this. Not every game needs MP.

Forum Posts: 1195
Comment #31 by Hoborg
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 09:47:44 AM
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How about you people stop blame the executives for yielding to dominant market forces? How about you blame your neighborhood "bros" for only buying games that have a multiplayer component. Anything else gets rented or bought via second hand.

Just look at any game forum on this website. If there is a thread titled "should I buy this?" you will have at least a couple of responses that say "no" if there is no multiplayer.

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #32 by The Kingslayer
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 10:10:40 AM
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Wow nice to see someone in the industry speak out against multiplayer being shoe-horned into every game.

Forum Posts: 1676
Comment #33 by Jack Frost
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 10:26:41 AM
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I normally can't stand military shooters, but the more I read about this game, the more I'm intrigued to play it.

Forum Posts: 594
Comment #34 by GR4V1G0R3
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 11:36:59 AM
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its about time the devs started to point out to the big 3 pubs that MP does not make a game, but it can kill it if it's forced in with no actual use at all, some games have no call for an MP, and forcing devs to include one is a fucking travesty

well said to the dude, hope it doesn't affect his career, and hope someone worthwhile listens and realises what the $$$ magnets have done to the industry

i'll not get into the whole online pass thing, i agree with them, better than just charging £10 more for your shitty rehashed code with some new bitmaps in there (looking in CoD's general direction)...i dont get the problem, it only affect 2nd hand, yet everyone jumps and shouts about it saying they're cancelling pre-orders or whatever, retards....

now multiplayer achievements on the other hand, are bullshit and should be destroyed...

Forum Posts: 3223
Comment #35 by DecadentBeaver
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 11:53:15 AM
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Respect to him for speaking out. Bang on with what he said as well. Totally agree, as a lot of games have no need for MP. Bioshock 2 being a prime example. If they had concentrated more on the campaign, it could have been so much better. Perhaps publishers should actually employ gamers, then the devs would be given more creative freedom.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #36 by asilent boom
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 01:40:49 PM
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This games problem wasn't the MP, the single player part wasn't that great either imo. Where was this guy at when he realized this project was starting suck and the MP felt tacked on? This guy doesn't sound like a great creative director. Like anything in life, if it's done right and well, it will work. He really shouldn't blame the publisher for his tacked on MP. When 2K Games requested this have a MP component, he should have spoke up then, not 2 months after the games released laying blame on people other than himself.

@35 Bioshock 2 would have been better if they concentrated on the single player more? Maybe, but I doubt it, just because you have 10 cooks in the kitchen doesn't mean the food will be better. Bioshock 2s MP was made by a seperate development studio than the studio that did the single player campaign, meaning that studio would have done something else if they didn't work on that MP, and it wouldn't have been the SP campaign. There weren't any resources taken from the campaign for the MP. Bioshock 2 wasn't as good as the first because it wasn't made by the same developers who did the first game, and we had been to Rapture before. Bioshock 2 was still a great game, but adding MP to it wasn't part of the problem.

Forum Posts: 291
Comment #37 by ViNyLek
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 02:22:19 PM
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I knew there was something wrong with after I came in first in all of my first 5 (and only) matches online LOL.

Either, that or all the online gaming in gears paid off. In any case, there would be little value without MP. I guess this would have been perfect fit for Arcade with 5HR long campaign... Even I feel I wasted $40 on this. Campaig was amazing, but just not worth $40, $20 would have been much better price and I would have paid gladly to play it on arcade=)

Forum Posts: 304
Comment #38 by AgentOrange330
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 02:32:37 PM
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@ 16 - Actually, its not in this article, but the development of multiplayerwas outsourced to Darkside Studios so Yager actually DOESN'T need to take responsibility for it. 2K, the publisher, definitely does. This is the same as when a seperate developer made the boss battles for Deus Ex. The core part of the game was good but the bass battles were horrible and completely different from the rest of the game. Its funny how regardless of the industry big business really knows how to ruin some of their products by basing everything off of some model on a piece of paper...

Forum Posts: 304
Comment #39 by AgentOrange330
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 02:34:25 PM
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@ 37 - The funny thing is if they didin't waste time and money on the mulitplayer they more than likely could have made the single player experience longer so you wouldn't have felt slighted for dropping $40 on it. I've had a real problem with games adding mulitplayer that don't need it because in the end all it does it takes away form the single player aspect of the game...

Forum Posts: 499
Comment #40 by AirborneRichard
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 04:06:14 PM
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Lets face it gamers, the guy has a point and he,s def not the first or the last one that been pressured to add some sort of multiplayer component to their game. Fact is how many of you gamers not mentioned or wrote about it that if there isn,t an MP part in a game in the beginning its a no buy. Now slowely alot more of us realize a game def stands out better at times if it has no MP at all ;)
You can read here and already will notice the different opinions if some game should or not should have multiplayer, as an example AC ;)
The game (Spec_ops) sure delivered, but the multiplayer was something that,s not even worth mention as it was realy awefull.
I def not wanna know how many games are in development at this moment and publisher,s forcing the game developers to build in something that represents some for of MP.

Forum Posts: 6934
Comment #41 by Nevander
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 04:08:39 PM
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"Multiplayer... of Dubai... ended in... complete... failure."

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #42 by asilent boom
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 04:26:48 PM
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@40 I doubt publishers are saying "just tack on some standard MP component, we need it for the game to sell". That's ridiculous. The developer knew full well what they were being contracted to do, MP was part of the deal, it's on them if they can't build a fun MP experience from it, not the game, or the publisher. This game was delayed so they weren't rushed, he's trying to blame the publisher when he had the ability to do something about it but failed to do so.

Forum Posts: 1063
Comment #43 by TrishTheDish
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 05:32:10 PM
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Just think, in a few years we can chisel his quotes into the upcoming grave that will house the video game industry! It was a fun ride while it lasted.

Forum Posts: 714
Comment #44 by Bajan Elite
Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 08:31:36 AM
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@39 The mp was made by a different team of people. Learn to read before you comment like an idiot.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #45 by damnbloodymess
Sunday, September 02, 2012 @ 12:40:17 AM
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My problem with this is if 2K told Davis to take out the part where white phosphurus is used on what turns out to be civilians Davis would have fought that tooth and nail as he should given its importance to the game and Walker's character arc. So when faced with a similar decision on the importance what to include in his game he didn't fight them tooth and nail at all and let them force feed a lame MP. He should always stand up for his game and his vision for what it should be, not let others dictate it to him.

Forum Posts: 111
Comment #46 by Mc1ovin11
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 08:48:27 PM
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I loved this games SP Camaign-one of the best of recent years and yes the 2 MP matches i played were awful.I think the lack of MP cheevs hinted at what this developer has now come out and said-it was just another tacked on effort put on there for whatever reason.I do respect him for going on record and saying this though-i cant see him working with 2K in the fututre thats for sure!

Forum Posts: 110
Comment #47 by LeafRaider
Friday, May 03, 2013 @ 04:11:07 PM
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I just played through the campaign of this and my God it's the best storyline out of every similar game I've played. I haven't touched the multiplayer it doesn't feel that it is needed, I will give it a look in but apart from that.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #48 by Jaws as Crowns
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 @ 03:22:54 AM
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Game Info
2K Games


US June 26, 2012
Europe June 29, 2012

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