Darkside responds to Spec Ops multiplayer 'cancerous growth' criticism

President Hugh Falk tells Polygon Darkside "did a great job" according to focus tests and reviews.

Darkside Game Studios president Hugh Falk reached out to Polygon with a statement, responding to criticism of the multiplayer portion of Spec Ops: The Line from lead designer Cory Davis calling it "a cancerous growth."

Falk tells Polygon that Davis' concerns were "an outlying opinion."

Darkside, founded in 2008 in Florida as a spinoff of the successful art and design house Shadows in Darkness, was tapped to develop the multiplayer for Spec Ops alongside the single-player development at Yager. According to Spec Ops' lead designer, Cory Davis, the multiplayer was forced on the development team, relentlessly pushed by publisher 2K Games, to the detriment of the overall game.

Speaking to Polygon earlier this month, Davis called the multiplayer portion of the game "a cancerous growth."

"The multiplayer game's tone is entirely different, the game mechanics were raped to make it happen, and it was a waste of money," Davis said. "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."

Falk's full statement reads as follows:

There are a lot of positive topics covered in the recent Polygon article about Spec Ops: The Line. However, one clarification needs to be made about the multiplayer mode: Darkside Game Studios was brought onto Spec Ops towards the tail end of the project and revamped the entire multiplayer design. The deadline was tight, the demands were high, and Darkside did a great job according to focus tests, reviewers and players. Cory Davis himself followed up on his Twitter account: “Darkside Games did a great job with the time / resources they were given. They finalized and shipped a historically troubled Multiplayer.” His concerns originated prior to Darkside’s involvement and stemmed from his opinion that the game should contain no multiplayer at all. Fortunately, for the core fans of Spec Ops multiplayer, this was an outlying opinion.

Davis's frustration stemmed from having been forced into developing multiplayer for the game against his wishes and those of the team. He says the multiplayer was "literally a checkbox," requested by publisher 2K Games at the behest of financial analysts.

Spec Ops: The Line publisher 2K Games refused to comment.

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