One of our favorites games from the previous generation was Spec Ops: The Line. Yager Development's fabulous and haunting take on the modern warfare genre destroyed gamers' perception of war being just a game, and its resolution was just a punch in the gut after gunning down hundreds of enemy soldiers in similar styled games.
Despite being a brilliant piece of storytelling, it didn't light up the sales charts, and the tacked on multiplayer received a lot of scorn, especially from the staff at Yager itself. The friction caused between publisher interference and even the developers themselves forced them to decide not to return to the series.
In an interview with GameStar.de, translated on NeoGAF, Managing Director Timo Ullman states that he and his company don't even want to make any military shooter again.
"If you can't compete with the big ones, the risk is too big. The market for 'smart' or 'intellectual' games is too niche. Elitist almost."
Art Director Mathias Wiese also interjected by saying it wasn't the most interesting game to design, despite his excellent creation of a sandstorm hell in Dubai.
"You can imagine what kind of reference material you have to review [for a game like Spec Ops]. That's not fun. You're happy when you can do something else after that."
Instead of focusing on another groundbreaking narrative, Yager is instead focusing on two new projects. It is working on Dead Island 2 and a free-to-play PC game that looks kind of interesting called Dreadnought.
While I would like to definitely see them pop up again in more intelligent and thought-provoking video games in the future, I am actually glad to see them walk away from Spec Ops: The Line. Too often in this past generation did something like this pop up and immediately demand a sequel from the behind the scenes business suits. For once, it's great to see that a wonderful game can survive as a standalone title without the weight of a sequel demanding it become a franchise with a capital "F."
I mean, where else can the story of Spec Ops: The Line go? Will Martin Walker become like Lara Croft and gain a violent streak after talking to a therapist? Ugh, gag me. I'm already depressed thinking about it.
As much as I enjoyed BioShock 2 for its mechanics, I could have lived without it. Wouldn't it have been great just to see BioShock "end." The same goes for the rest of the "me too" sequels of the last decade. 2K Games, just… leave this one alone, okay? Please? Don't go tagging a B-team to it, and heaven forbid please don't try to out do it? You can't.
Props to Yager for backing off.