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Spec Ops: The Line Will No Longer Be Available in Online Stores, 2K Blames Expiring Partnerships

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. Today, we updated that story with reporting that the game had also disappeared from other digital storefronts, including Fanatical, Gamesplanet, and Nuuvem. And now, we have confirmation from 2K themselves: one of the most important video games of the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation is disappearing from online storefronts for good.

2K Games sent IGN the following statement confirming The Line's delisting:

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 2K hasn't provided specifics as to what partnerships are expiring, Spec Ops: The Line contains several pieces of licensed music, including Jimmy Hendrix's iconic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Expiring music licenses have been the reason for many delistings in the past, and that would seem to be a probable reason here.

The rare military shooter that critiqued the genre​

The delisting is not only a huge blow to games preservation,
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, but a loss for the medium in general. Spec Ops: The Line was one of the most important and acclaimed games of the seventh console generation and one of the rare military shooters that dared to critique the genre it operated in.

In our review, we wrote, "Spec Ops is a daring experiment worth celebrating. For the first time, a
game with guns doesn't want you to be the hero – it wants you to feel terrible about trying to be one."

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and produced several groundbreaking works of games criticism, including
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, one of the first book-length analyses of a single video game. There's a reason people still talk about the white phosphorus scene. It's a shame that soon, people will no longer be able to access it on digital storefronts.

As of the time of this writing, Spec Ops: The Line is still available on
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, where it is backwards compatible. Anyone interested in purchasing it should probably do so before it disappears into the heart of an immense darkness... for good.

Will Borger is an IGN freelancer. You can find him on Twitter @bywillborger

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