I’d never seen or heard of “The Verge” before, but you know what they actually have some well written gaming articles — it’s not just another blog regurgitating press releases (or re-using other peoples work — I found this via one of the big gaming news sites who had simply stolen the money quote from the article).

They’ve got at least one new reader in me, I recommend you join me: Don’t be a hero – The full story behind Spec Ops: The Line

“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.”

Against Davis’ wishes, development on the multiplayer component proceeded and was farmed out to multiple studios before ending up at Darkside Studios. The result, according to Davis, 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,” 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.”

Davis feels sorry for the developers who were tasked with creating the “tacked on multiplayer” for Spec Ops (“bullshit, should not exist … there’s no doubt that it’s an overall failure”), and is still, months after finishing development, frustrated at publisher 2K. But overall he believes it did a good thing allowing Yager to make the game in the first place.