Ukrainian developer 4A Games is reneging on promises of a Metro: Last Light multiplayer experience. Instead, the developer is going to focus its efforts on making a more solid single player campaign.
"Your response to our E3 demo made it very clear that although there was a lot of interest and intrigue around Metro’s multiplayer," wrote the developer on the official Metro site. "the single player campaign is what the fanbase cares about the most."
However, fans looking forward to the possibility of a Metro multiplayer need not despair… yet. Though the game won't be shipping with multiplayer, 4A isn't completely sloughing off the single player: "Right now we’re 100% focused on the single player campaign and not thinking beyond that. We don’t like throwing away work though, it’s a project we could potentially return to after Metro: Last Light ships." So… while it sounds highly unlikely, there's still a slim, slim chance that 4A may end up working on a multiplayer component after all.
With all the talk that the developer only ever dedicated few resources to the multiplayer, one wonders if such a decision to scrap multiplayer completely may have actually been a decision based off of Last Light's publisher, THQ. For the past year, THQ has been financially bereaved (though signs of its financial dire straits have been evident for quite a while), leading to the company formulating a reverse stock split to prevent the company from being delisted from NASDAQ and the election of ex-Naughty Dog Jason Rubin to the executive spot that ex-VP of Core Games Danny Bilson held. After thinning its ranks of employees and Darksiders II's somewhat-decent sales, THQ's managed to get itself back in the black. However, a Metro: Last Light multiplayer experience is probably cutting into precious capital that THQ can't spare (though, spending the original resources for the project can't have been cheap either.)
The good news is that with the developer's focus on the single player campaign, Metro: Last Light is still on track to release early 2013 for Windows, Xbox 360, and PS3.