Spec Ops Multiplayer Is a "Cancerous Growth"

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Oh look, someone dictated that they needed to do multiplayer in a shooter, because Call of Duty 4.x does it.
And it failed to achieve Call of Duty 4.x's success. Guess who is probably going to take the blame? That's right, the developer, not the publisher.

It's the Economic concept of Network Goods in action.
Don't compete with the top network good by cloning it. Unless the difference in quality is outstanding, it won't work.

Wonder why WoW clones fail to even approach WoW's rates of success, even after 8 years?
Same concept.

Only here, the forced inclusion and emphasis on multiplayer had detrimental effects on the REST of the game.

OK, big ups right now.

Mr. Davis, I wish more people in the industry had your line of thinking when it comes to multiplayer.

Publishers just don't seem to realize that not ever game needs multiplayer, and for projects like this, where you're not gonna get a huge budget and being forced to add a tacked on multiplayer does take away from the singleplayer resources, and single player, in this instance was the whole damn point of the game.

Forced multiplayer is indeed something that's killing the industry, I think. And kudos to Mr. Davis for having the cajones to rip on an aspect of his own game to say something.

Is schadenfreude what I'm feeling right now? I don't know, but whatever it's called, it feels good. I want to buy this man a steak.

This also reminds me of a lot FPS games this generation has dead severs because no played the multi-player(FEAR,FEAR2,FE3R,The Darkness just to name a few examples)

Crysis 2, Bioshock 2, The Darkness, Far Cry 2, Dead Space 2, feel free to add any more to my list of games which didn't need multiplayer.

I'm glad he went on record and said this. Maybe other devs will put more effort into writing good games again.

Andy Chalk:
"[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,"...
*snip*
...but if 2K attempted to position it as a competitor to online heavyweights like Modern Warfare or Battlefield, it certainly wouldn't have done it any favors...
*snip*
...Davis gave props to 2K for green-lighting the game in the first place. "They took a hell of a risk with the project that other publishers would not have had the balls to take," he said. "I'm proud of what we were able to achieve, and it was not easy."

It seems like the publisher thought they were getting a Modern Warfare or Battlefield clone that could compete with the big guys, while the devs were more focused on making a memorable single player campaign instead of being the gazillion'd company trying to make a quick buck off a MW/BF clone.

Anyhow, either make a good multiplayer mode or don't make one at all. Because it still costs money. Money that could have been better spent improving the singleplayer.

I love this man's honesty.
It is somewhat rare for devs to speak so openly about what they think.

This is what I love, when people within the game industry actually talk openly about the flaws in the system and air there frustrations with a lot of the bullshit that goes on in the buisness side of things. That probably took a lot of balls to say given that the higher ups dont want people with a negative opinion of the publisher or there practices kicking around.

Now if only we could get someone from Bioware on the line... :)

We need more guys like this. Too bad Triple A game investors will always care about the money that this guy can only do his full potential in the indie market.

Tiamat666:

daibakuha:
You know, I like this guys statements. You know what I don't like? How everyone is going to use this guy as a reason for ragging on why things shouldn't have mutliplayer. Multiplayer isn't needed for every game, but it can drastically enhance the longevity and fun of others.

Yes, but what is unacceptable is that they had a vision for the single player experience and had to tweak it for the worse in order to accomodate the multiplayer part. The end result is that the single player main game is not the way it was meant to be, and for that we get yet another half-assed FPS multiplayer, in an already overflowing market which includes many free to play shooters, which do the multiplayer job much better because they are dedicated to it.

Thanks a bunch, marketing people.

Well if gamers stopped demanding multiplayer in every title, publishers wouldn't force developers to put it into the game.

Also this game is a third person shooter, not and FPS.

Dang.. This guy's a trooper. Props for him to spill the truth. I don't care if he's dissing his own project, its his criticism. I thought Spec Ops would be Single Player only. It's all it needs. Having multi just kind of hurts the game. Actually, I didn't even know Spec Ops had a multiplayer until now. But still, this guy's cool.

Such... colorful language.
Picked up Spec Ops just a little ago, and I'm very interested to play it, but I can't say I had a lot of interest in the multiplayer, or awareness of it at all. I definitely seems like something that didn't really warrant it, from what I've heard about the message, and I kind of felt that 2K of all companies would have understood that, what with Bioshock once upon a time.

Andy Chalk:
"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.

This is what I thought when I finished the single-player and saw the "multiplayer" option on the menu. You have a game that makes the player feel like shit for having any fun while shooting things, then put in multiplayer that is just having fun shooting things? Talk about inconsistent, I'm glad that the developer agrees.

"No one is playing it"

This is the number one reason that I hate shoehorned multiplayer and multiplayer achievements in all non-big name multiplayer games. You'll only have enough people playing online for it to be worth a shit for maybe the first month, and then finding a match becomes nearly impossible, and any multiplayer achievements become unattainable.

I applaud Mr.Davis for speaking the truth. I bought spec ops and supported their team and will continue to do so. They made a great product and while I hate the crap multiplayer that is required to be tagged along, I still have to salute 2K for at least giving the green light so we could experience a great single player experience.

Spec Ops: The Line is the most unique game I have ever played, not because it had uncommon game mechanics or some wild and imaginative story line, but because it used it's gameplay to push it's story and message forward. Reviewers and players who use "bland gameplay" as a negative point have missed the point that the game makes through having a pretty generic style of gunplay.
This game is unique because everything that made up the finished single player product was there to push the game's point about war, hubris, PTSD, alliances, the "modern warfare" genre of FPS's, and the entire medium of video games. None of it was because the developers were lazy and decided not to create amazing and extremely innovative gameplay; they were there for a reason.
And that is why the Spec Ops multiplayer really is a cancerous growth and why I am glad someone in an official position has finally pointed out what the players of Spec Ops have been thinking since they saw the main menu option of multiplayer. Whereas the singleplayer portion of Spec Ops questions exactly how the player can enjoy such violence perpetrated by themeselves, the multiplayer throws all that out and suddenly, as Cory Davis said, tosses out the creative pillars of the project. Every single idea the singleplayer campaign points out is shamelessly subverted into a Call of Duty clone that suddenly glorifies the exact thing the singleplayer was condemning.
The multiplayer in no way affects the singleplayer, and very definitely should not deter a potential buyer from buying the game, as it is hopefully one that is remembered for being the great commentary that it is.

God, I am so happy to read this article. Publishers strong-arming multiplayer components into games is indeed a cancer.

ForgottenPr0digy:
This also reminds me of a lot FPS games this generation has dead severs because no played the multi-player(FEAR,FEAR2,FE3R,The Darkness just to name a few examples)

wait, hold up... the darkness had multiplayer?

Quazimofo:

ForgottenPr0digy:
This also reminds me of a lot FPS games this generation has dead severs because no played the multi-player(FEAR,FEAR2,FE3R,The Darkness just to name a few examples)

wait, hold up... the darkness had multiplayer?

yeah you have death match/team death match and CTF

but all the severs are dead unless you find people to boost for the multi-player

People haven't kicked up a fuss about someone in the media using the word rape to describe the degeneration of a game they're affiliated with?

This is a new one.
Notable mention goes to people in this thread who said that this person was refreshing and honest and we need more people like him.

I actually just started playing this game over the weekend. Due in no small part to the recommendation from some friends who's opinions I trust. I'd seen a lot of critics say that it was unexpectedly deep or surprisingly dark.

Which I assumed to mean "This one has brown people that you don't have to shoot"

So yeah I played through to the point where you...find the source of the CIA broadcast...for lack more specific terms before I had to log off to go to a BBQ.

When I logged off I noticed that there were DLC and Multiplayer options on the main menu and I couldn't for the life of me think what they were thinking with that. In most games I take it as given that there will be challenge maps and DLC skins or multiplayer or whatever.

But here it just seems vulgar.

Well, that about seals it, I am going to buy this game, then go register on the 2K forums, to tell them this man is why I bought the game, and how disgusted I am with 2K for forcing them to shoehorn a useless multiplayer mode in.

I think I will send them an old fashioned snail mail letter about it as well.

Like everyone else in this thread, just because he said all that, I am now considering giving them money for the game.

vrbtny:

Carnagath:
Wow, look at all the fucks this guy doesn't give. I thought people like that were pretty much extinct in today's gaming industry, guess I was wrong.

....You're kidding right? What end, of what stick have you grasped to come up with that analogy? This guy genuinely cares about this game, and gives many fucks about it. He cares about it enough to speak out against his boss, saying that Mutlti-player was not needed, and he is more than happy to condemn a company that screwed up his game.

The gaming industry needs a lot more guys like this, hell, it would be good for the industry if all lead desingers were like this.

We need more like this guy. Not less.

We're saying the exact same thing, I just said it in a different way.

While I'm not sure of other countries, I certainly know that it's release date here in Australia a few months ago was just begging for the game to fall flat. This game was released over here in pretty much the middle of the year, not only is that just a time when the release tap is slowed to such a trickle that no buzz is generated, but it's the middle of the damn year, with school and work and everything else the games we have (usually the good ones released at the end of last year) are what we fall back on.

I'll admit I'm no publisher, and that there's probably a thousand and one reasons behind why certain games get released at certain times, but I see this trend a lot: a game which looks great and gets heaped with praise is given next to no good marketing and released at just a plain bad time of year, then the publisher responsible blames the merits of the game for poor sales! I guarantee if Spec Ops had been released in the early or later months of the year, at a time when free buzz is given to a game solely because it's the free buzz season, they could very well have had a hit on their hands.

daibakuha:
You know, I like this guys statements. You know what I don't like? How everyone is going to use this guy as a reason for ragging on why things shouldn't have mutliplayer. Multiplayer isn't needed for every game, but it can drastically enhance the longevity and fun of others.

yes, it can.

but most often it ends like Brink.

is anyone here still playing Brink? eh?

daibakuha:
You know, I like this guys statements. You know what I don't like? How everyone is going to use this guy as a reason for ragging on why things shouldn't have mutliplayer. Multiplayer isn't needed for every game, but it can drastically enhance the longevity and fun of others.

It can. Of course, for that to work you need to be called "Call of Duty" or "Left 4 Dead" or "Halo" or something similar. The reality is that most online communities drop off rapidly after launch, which is kind of the same problem they had in the first place.

A lot of games just shouldn't have multiplayer, sorry.

In the long run, when we look back at games, this game has earned a spot of recognition, which is more than I can say for blaarghshooterdeluxeforgotnamealready.

Wait, now hold on a second guys. Everyone's bad-mouthing 2K Games for shoehorning in some unneeded multiplayer. Now, that was a mistake indeed BUT let's not forget that they green-lighted this project almost the WHOLE way through. They took a risk and let the developer do his thing. Something that most publishers do not want to do. So, before we start getting out our pitchforks against 2K, remember that they are still the ones that were willing to pay for and go with the whole thing. And for that, I thank them.

Hat off to Mr.David.

I actually had no idea that the Line's sale didn't meet the developer's expectations. I might have to buy it.

razer17:

kir4:
errr. Bad form man. Never diss your own project affiliation no matter how shitty it is.

Errr, it should be the exact opposite. It's incredibly annoying when artists and game designers or whoever make out their game is the best thing since sliced bread, and it is completely perfect. It's refreshing to see someone actually come and say that parts of their work sucked. If more people had his balls, maybe the games industry as a whole would be in a better position.

OT: I literally didn't even know that this game had a multiplayer component. I mean, I haven't played it, but every time I've seen it discussed only the single player has been mentioned.

You have completely missed kir4's point. He wasn't talking about dissing the product. He was talking about dissing the project affiliation- i.e. the team that had to make the multiplayer, and the publisher that funded the game... in other words, the hand that fed him. Good luck getting 2k to fund any more of his games if he's going to berate them like that post-release.

Zachary Amaranth:

It can. Of course, for that to work you need to be called "Call of Duty" or "Left 4 Dead" or "Halo" or something similar. The reality is that most online communities drop off rapidly after launch, which is kind of the same problem they had in the first place.

A lot of games just shouldn't have multiplayer, sorry.

A lot of people said the same thing about the multiplayer for Mass Effect 3, yet people still play it. They keep releasing new weapons and maps for it, they keep doing events for the game with rewards for those you take place in the event.

Every game should have multiplayer, but what's wrong with experimenting with it? What's wrong with pushing ideas for different ways we can play games?

Like it or not, multiplayer is where things are going. Look at the top selling games on steam right now and you'll see why. Look at the most played games this week and you'll see why.

So, this is entirely against forum rules, but I don't really post that much so here goes.
Spec Ops is $20 right now and it comes with both bioshocks. If you want to support devs like this, buy it now.
http://www.amazon.com/Desert-to-Sea-Bundle-Download/dp/B0091T6FQO/ref=br_lf_m_1000828191_1_15_ttl?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&pf_rd_p=1392411762&pf_rd_s=center-4&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_i=1000828191&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1XQ7V18DQ5C1G36ZTP4S

Multiplayer is not the cancer
The people that think it's necessary to move video game copies and the ones that keep video games bland, ugly iron sight simulators because they are proven to sell are the cancer killing video games

Multiplayer add-ons to games need to die, if you suit wearing business criminals want to parrot sales reports about "multiplayer hits a larger demographic" then just make a solely multiplayer game with no time spent trying to make a compelling story. then when you get the dismally shitty sales reports maybe then it will nail the concept into your fucking skulls that next to nobody wants that bullshit in their game. Maybe then you will let your development staff make the kinds of games that will sell well and not disappoint everyone who spent 60 dollars on your title.

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