While 2012's Spec Ops: The Line was a hit with critics and a subset of fans, it never really found its feet amongst the mainstream audience.
So it's perhaps not too surprising that developer Yager Entertainment has ruled out developing a sequel, or indeed any similar military shooter, in a recent interview with.
In the interview (very kindly translated by the good folks over at NeoGAF), Jager says that though Spec Ops was critically acclaimed, the teams have had to distance themselves from it as it's still seen by publishers as a financial failure.
The game told the story of an American special forces team sent into Dubai to find and bring into custody a rogue US agent. At first glance it was a rather forgettable third-person shooter. Rather than celebrating the glory of warfare, however, Spec Ops took a more thoughtful and self-reflexive approach, questioning the actions of the player and subverting the conventions of the modern military shooter.
Company managing director Timo Ullman says that while the team is proud of what they created, they probably won't work on a similar project again. "If you can't compete with the big ones," he explains, "the risk is too big. The market for "smart" or "intellectual" games is too niche. Elitist almost."
Hence the switch to the team's more "optimistic" sci-fi space shooter Dreadnought. A far less stressful game to work on, as art director Mathias Wiese explains. "You can imagine what kind of reference material you have to review (for games like Spec Ops). That's not fun. You're happy when you can do something else after that "
I don't think the singular, effective Spec Ops would have benefited from any sequel, but it's something of a shame (though understandable from a financial point of view) that the talented team at Yager is stepping away from creating similarly thoughtful and challenging games.