Cult third-person shooter Spec Ops: The Line delisted from Steam, as its director says the move "makes no sense"

Spec Ops: The Line
(Image credit: 2K)

Update: Publisher 2K has confirmed that Spec Ops: The Line is due to be delisted from all online stores due to the expiration of "several partnership licenses" connected to the cult classic shooter.

"Spec Ops: The Line will no longer be available on online storefronts, as several partnership licenses related to the game are expiring," a 2K representative tells journalist Stephen Totilo. "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."

Original story: Cult shooter Spec Ops: The Line has been delisted from Steam for unknown reasons, and even its director says it "makes no sense." 

If you head over to Spec Ops: The Line's Steam page, you'll discover that the game is no longer available to purchase, and instead find a notice that reads: "Spec Ops: The Line is no longer available on the Steam store," with no other explanation. As pointed out by Wario64 on Twitter, the Spec Ops is still currently available from other digital storefronts such as the Xbox store and GOG

Publisher 2K or Valve is yet to give a reason for the game's removal, as even some of its developers don't have an answer for confused fans. "Makes no sense - especially because the themes portrayed in @SpecOpsTheLine are more relevant now than ever," Cory Davis, the game's director, has said in a tweet, adding "Why has this happened @2k @Steam?" Former YAGER developer, Enrique Colinet, also shared: "I do really hope there is a good reason for this, otherwise this is almost insulting."

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Spec Ops: The Line is a third-person military shooter that's "designed to challenge players' morality" as it "explores the dark side of war in a realistic way," its Steam page reads. Set in Dubai after a cataclysmic sandstorm, players, and other members of the Delta Recon Team, must find survivors, investigate a mysterious radio signal, endure war, and face up against Col. John Konrad.

The game's removal from Steam has caused a lot of fans to panic buy it on other platforms to try and perverse it. Others have taken this as an opportunity to highlight the downside of purchasing digital games instead of physical, as there's always a chance your favorite game could vanish one day. Some fans have also suggested that this could be due to a music licensing issue.  

Take a look at our best shooter games list if you're now looking for something new to play. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.