The game's multiplayer component, which was handled by external studio Darkside, was described as "bulls**t" by lead designer Cory Davis, who told Polygon that it was never the focus and shouldn't have been made.
"The multiplayer mode of Spec Ops: The Line was never a focus of the development, but the publisher was determined to have it anyway.
"It was literally a check box that the financial predictions said we needed, and 2K was relentless in making sure that it happened - even at the detriment of the overall project and the perception of the game," Davis explained.
"It sheds a negative light on all of the meaningful things we did in the single-player experience. The multiplayer game's tone is entirely different, the game mechanics were raped to make it happen, and it was a waste of money.
"No-one is playing it, and I don't even feel like it's part of the overall package - it's another game rammed onto the disk like a cancerous growth, threatening to destroy the best things about the experience that the team at Yager put their heart and souls into creating."
Davis did, however, praise 2K Games for taking a risk on the project, which he believes offers something different from the countless Call of Duty clones.
"They [2K Games] took a hell of a lot of risk with the project that other publishers would not have had the balls to take," he said.
"Maybe I'm an asshole, but I think there are plenty of COD games out there, and if you want one... I'm sorry we didn't give you one, but I'm glad that some players went into [the game] and realised that it's something more.
"Seeing gamers go into the experience hoping to have a fun, shooty bro-romp through a Middle Eastern environment ... killing soulless, villainous enemies who are difficult to relate to (and thus easy to pull the trigger on), and then slowly finding themselves falling down the rabbit hole into a darker, more contemplative, more surreal, and character-driven experience has been amazing for me."
Released earlier this summer, Spec Ops: The Line sees players control Captain Walker, a US Delta Force soldier on a mission to rescue his squad.
2K has said it features the darker realities of war, putting players in difficult situations where the line between right and wrong becomes blurred.
> Spec Ops: The Line review (Xbox 360) A story with a heart of darkness
Co-operative DLC was recently released as a free download, and is available now on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and PC through Steam.