Rumor: Spec Ops: The Line Studio Working On Free-To-Play Shooter

Rumor: Spec Ops: The Line Studio Working On Free-To-Play Shooter

spec ops the line

Job postings at Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager indicate that the studio is working on a free-to-play shooter for consoles and the PC.

Yager Development made something of a name for itself last year with the third-person military shooter Spec Ops: The Line, a delirious Delta Force journey through the ruined city of Dubai. Based on a couple of recent job postings its next project will stick with the military theme, but will also make a more contemporarily conventional effort to grab some of the money too.

The studio has a number of job listings posted but the two that are particularly noteworthy seek a senior multiplayer level designer and a visual FX artist, both for "an exciting new AAA F2P project." Yager announced in March that it had licensed the Unreal Engine 4 for use in a "major next-generation title," and while information about what that project might be or when it's expected to be ready remain a mystery, duplicate job listings at Gamasutra say that it will be for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PC.

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with free-to-play games and I wish Yager all the best in whatever pursuits it thinks will lead to success, but the news is still a little disappointing. Spec Ops: The Line did some amazing things and while the gameplay itself was fairly run-of-the-mill, it's fair to say that people who played it tended to recognize it as something special. I'd hoped that the studio would choose to build on that foundation with something comparably adventurous, but I don't think that's too likely to happen with a free-to-play release.

Sources: Yager

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The Line was something of a fluke, I liked it but it's clear from the Studios previous outings that impressive narrative driven games are not their shtick and they're just reverting to type.

Even if staff wanted to, would investors and publishers allow them creative freedom? Way too risky, I doubt The Line sold anywhere near enough to justify a punt on something similar. F2P is a safe bet with good margins, no surprises anywhere.

I'm all for Yager making more stuff and I'm certainly interested in their work, but I don't really get it. Spec Ops' major strength was its narrative and how that narrative was carried over into every aspect of the game. The environment reflected the character's mental state, the gunplay was mediocre and dangerous to show what real combat is like, even the scene transitions had a lot of detail and meaning when you looked into them. Why make a studio with such a great understanding of story work in a genre that by and large has no story? At best, it's misplacing resources, but at worst, they'll just have no idea what to do. Contracting the guys who created the greatest takedown of exploitive AAA shooters to make a straight-faced exploitive AAA shooter just makes no sense.

This news is nothing but tragic and ironic in every sense of the word. They are now making the very game that Spec Ops: The Line spurned repeatedly.

Gearhead mk2:
Why make a studio with such a great understanding of story work in a genre that by and large has no story?

Because easy profit...

Spec ops was a brilliant game with every detail carefully crafted to create a unique experience and a thought-provoking question while pulling in a small profit.

Blacklight: retribution is a decent shooter with lot's of micro-transactions that makes money hand over fist.

Which one do the publishers want more?

Sad, but true. We made this problem when not enough gamers supported such a wonderful game.

Well, now I am confused, and a little bit sad.

Assuming this is true, I suppose there's always the tiny chance that it could work out, but I just... I don't see that happening.

You can amke a good F2P shooter. I mean look at Tf2... but thequestion is, how will they monetize?

Well that's the rub when you make something incredible and groundbreaking. If you do anything that isn't disappointment, even if it's good. It's hard to go back to business after creating art.

Spec Ops had solid gun play, and it was enjoyable, but it wasn't what I was there for. Plus I've already got a F2P shooter in WarFace, so there's not much need for another one either.

GoaThief:
The Line was something of a fluke, I liked it but it's clear from the Studios previous outings that impressive narrative driven games are not their shtick and they're just reverting to type.

I wouldn't even call it a fluke, it was hyperbolic and fairly pretentious. It's a game at first glance that seems good but when examied it's just another mediocre tps/fps that barely surpasses on Bethesda's idea of morality.

With the possible brand name alone it's a boom or bust situation.

It's a hell of a transition from this:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119332-Spec-Ops-Multiplayer-Is-a-Cancerous-Growth

OTOH, nothing is confirmed yet, so maybe this is... something else.

"an exciting new AAA F2P project."

So they're sticking with the tired military shooter FPS genre, slapping the now-excessive free-to-play model on it, and believe that it's going to survive and perhaps flourish in a world that already has an abundant amount of military FPS F2P games, of which select few ever gain any prominence, AND will be in direct competition with military juggernauts Battlefield and Call of Duty, and FPS F2P juggernauts TF2 and Blacklight?

Exciting. Hopefully when this project inevitably drives itself into the ground and Yager either goes out of business or gets bought up by EA/Activision after being forced to sell itself, we'll all be able to look back and agree that, yes, they did it to themselves.

Andy Chalk:
It's a hell of a transition from this:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119332-Spec-Ops-Multiplayer-Is-a-Cancerous-Growth

I think you're looking at that out of context. Yager didn't want the multiplayer because it ran against the entire point of the game. It was shoehorned in. This game seems very different.

Andy Chalk:
It's a hell of a transition from this:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119332-Spec-Ops-Multiplayer-Is-a-Cancerous-Growth

OTOH, nothing is confirmed yet, so maybe this is... something else.

Let's see how they fare when making a painfully mediocre videogame isn't part of their precious symbolism. I'm not gonna lie, I'm not a fan of a studio who thinks that enjoying the occasional brain dead shooter at the end of an extremely long, exhausting and stressful day makes those players worthy of contempt and anger (and yes, the devs did seem to be genuinely angry at those players). I admire the courage it took to make Spec Ops, but I could certainly live without (another) bunch of fucked up prima donnas in this industry.

alphamalet:
This news is nothing but tragic and ironic in every sense of the word. They are now making the very game that Spec Ops: The Line spurned repeatedly.

Ha yeah, but who knows maybe the new game will have more of those loading messages in the matchmaking lobby XD

Andy Chalk:
It's a hell of a transition from this:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119332-Spec-Ops-Multiplayer-Is-a-Cancerous-Growth

OTOH, nothing is confirmed yet, so maybe this is... something else.

This is the first thing I thought of. I knew I had read something like this in the past, but I couldn't completely remember.

The gun play in Spec Ops was nothing spectacular. Don't get me wrong, it was sufficient and it worked but that is not what people played the game for. They need to up their game exponentially if this game does not have a compelling narrative to carry the weight.

Good for them, I say. I thoroughly enjoyed Spec Ops, the first FPS I was actually invested in since Soldier of Fortune. I hope this project will be successful. Maybe they'll make enough cash to do another story-based game.

I mean... I guess a free to play shooter is better than a tacked on, useless, multiplayer addition... Still, I agree with many others about the irony about this. I worry for them. I can only hope it's something unique just like The Line.

*Bing*

"Achivement Unlocked! 'Do you feel like a hero yet?' Kill 47 enemy players with one white phosphorus kill-streak."

Seriously though, I can't help but feel that the studio is somewhat going against the point of their previous masterpiece. Still, best not to judge until we've seen actual information of the game.

 

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