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Spec Ops: The Line MP Knocked By Dev

An article on Polygon offers an extensive look at Spec Ops: The Line, Yager's recently released third-person shooter set in a windstorm-swept Dubai. This offers a detailed exploration of some of the game's themes (warning of spoilers for those who are yet to play), and hears from lead writer Walt Williams on the topic. An interesting aspect of this noted by VG247 is Williams referring to the game's multiplayer support as "a cancerous growth" forced on them as a checkbox item by publisher 2K Games:

Against Davis' wishes, development on the multiplayer component proceeded and was farmed out to 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."

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16. Re: Spec Ops: The Line MP Knocked By Dev Aug 29, 2012, 13:56 JoeNapalm
Beamer, you're demonstrating exactly what is wrong with "The Industry." I'm not saying you are wrong, just that the industry, itself, is limping along on a flawed model.

Games are art...I don't care what the Supreme Court or you or whoever has to say about it, they're art. And just like other forms of art in the entertainment industry, like books and movies, when it becomes an industry, things get all jacked up.

This is because Suits don't get art. They don't understand it, and they sure as fuck don't MAKE it. Suits only understand, only make, one thing - MONEY.

Which is why Beamer and I are talking about two entirely different things. See, I'm talking about making good games, and Suits don't give a rat's ass about that.

So when the Suits (for example) take over a previously beloved game company, they can't understand why they hit all the bullet points and buzz words and did their focus groups and spread sheets and their game is a massive flop. They had AAA graphics and sound. They had SP and MP. They threw in MMO and 3D late in development. They had vampires or ponies or whatever is "hot" this week. And they lose money.

Must be those damn pirates.

Yet games like Minecraft, Mount & Blade, Portal and DayZ and countless other "from nowhere" games are successful, despite very clearly NOT having all the bullet points and focus groups (you seriously think people KNOW what they want?). Games like Sleeping Dogs are popular and successful, yet lack multiplayer, but the Suits will only see "lost sales."

More damn pirates. Shoulda had always-online DRM. Shoulda made an MMO.

The Suits don't get that there's a difference between the gaming community and grandma buying something off the rack at S-Mart. They don't even begin to understand what makes some games legendary and others utterly tank. They'll tell you they do, but they don't. If they did, you wouldn't see so many AAA disasters.

The Suits refuse to acknowledge that there is anything more to the consumer than money (hence Beamer's comments that it doesn't matter if we are happy, just that we give them money) or that there's more to a game than a collection of features.

Because games are art. And it takes artists, not Suits, to make good art. Money is generally a different story, sadly.

Ifriti Sophist
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