Is that why it's a smaller story? Maybe smaller isn't the right word, but you know, nobody's got nuclear weapons and there's no world domination or anything.

It's like a local conflict, yeah, you're right. We tailored it to the fact that we wanted it to be about a small squad, you know? You could probably do it if you were like a captain of a battalion or something like that. We wanted in terms of the narrative, yeah, we wanted to be able to set it in something where the player would feel in a little bit of an alien world, for sure, and also cut off from civilization to a certain amount. So it kind of allows you to be—it allows you to sort of believe that these guys are in this situation and they have to go through it. There's no sort of—there's no medevac out at any point and again it's just focusing singularly on these three guys.

I like some of the other stories in terms of the way that it does feel like a huge dramatic conflict, and you're saving the universe, and isn't that brilliant, yeah blah blah blah blah blah. That's all good and well and that's got its place for sure, but yeah literally it's—you're right, it's the reasons why we set these things very locally and very small in terms of scale of conflict being just local to Dubai.

Why do you feel it was important to start making this type of game now specifically?

I don't think now is the right time specifically. I think it's just something at 2K we hold very dear is just doing heavily narrative-based games. We like doing mature games. We want to tell stories that people want to be interested in, and also we're willing to do things a little bit differently I think. That's the first starting point for us. And then obviously at 2K we were like "Hey! We probably should be in the military shooter genre, right? Because I think those Activision guys and those EA guys are making quite a bit of money."

So you kind of start out there, and then you think—military shooter is a very interesting genre to make a game in as well, you know, in terms of the actual pure gameplay experience. It's very interesting and it's very good fun and everything. We're all big fans of Gears, Call of Duty, Battlefield and all that sort of stuff anyway. So once we get into that space, then it's like, well, what is the 2K slant on that? How do you do a strong narrative experience? And I think you're quite quickly led to where we got to in terms of telling a personal journey and not doing this sort of big conflict.

In terms of do we think the industry's ready for it, or why now? I think we're just naturally seeing that mature sort of narrative games, they have their place now. They do, and I think people connect to them. Gaming just for pure gaming is never going to go away and I think that's the great thing about games, is you can just pick it up and jump right in. You don't have to worry about the stress of, like, the narrative being on you for some games. But I absolutely do think as the audience is getting older, we're asking to become more engaged with the character we're portraying, and sort of more engaged in the stories.

Thanks to Denby for chatting with us, and don't miss Spec Ops: The Line when it hits Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on June 26. This interview was edited for brevity and readability.

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