that’s the official PR response. but the removals have been happening over the past few hours, with the 360 version being the last to go.Spec Ops: The Line will no longer be available on online storefronts, as several partnership licenses related to the game are expiring.
Players who have purchased the game can still download and play the game uninterrupted. 2K would like to thank our community of players who have supported the game, and we look forward to bringing you more offerings from our label throughout this year and beyond.
while I’m decidedly not a fan of the game’s core narrative concept of being entirely linear and repeatedly blaming the player for every questionable action that’s impossible to avoid. it is still a historically notable title for being a curious response towards the rise of modern military shooters in the mainstream.
the “partnership licenses” mentioned in the statement is likely referring to the game’s usage of licensed music, most famously the appearance of Jimi Hendrix’s legendary (and appropriate, as the performance was done in protest of the Vietnam War) cover of “The Star Spangled Banner” on the main menu.
the lead writer of the game (who wrote a book about his experience) is still lurking in the industry, and is currently working on Insomniac’s Wolverine title.