Spec Ops: The Line lead designer, Cory Davis, admitted that the game’s multiplayer mode is a “low quality Call of Duty clone in third person” that “sheds a negative light on all the meaningful things we did in the singleplayer experience.”
Davis explained that he believed that Spec Ops: The Line should be a standalone singleplayer experience in order to emphasize its strong narrative. The lead designer’s opinion was overturned by publisher 2K.
"The multiplayer mode of Spec Ops: The Line was never a focus of development, but the publisher was determined to have it anyway," he said. "It was literally a check box that the financial predictions said we needed, and 2K was relentless in making sure that it happened - even [to] the detriment of the overall project and the perception of the game."
"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 went on."No-one is playing it… it's another game rammed onto the disc like a cancerous growth, threatening to destroy the best things about the experience that the team at Yager put their hearts and souls into creating."
In the end, Davis sees Spec Ops: The Line multiplayer mode as nothing more than a “tacked-on… bullshit, [that] should not exist… there's no doubt that it's an overall failure.”