From some video game studios, including multiplayer in a single-player is disruptive to the development process, sometimes to the point that the entire project suffers. That might be the case with Metro: Last Light, as the team behind the title is canceling the online component.
In doing so, 4A Games aims to focus all their energy on the single-player campaign, according to their community notice:
Throughout the development of [Metro: Last Light], a small, dedicated team had been working on a number of multiplayer prototypes. After E3, we decided to fold this multiplayer team back into the main group and focus 100% of the studio’s resources on the single player campaign. As a result, Metro: Last Light will not ship with a multiplayer component.
Your response to our E3 demo made it very clear that although there was a lot of interest and intrigue around Metro’s multiplayer, the single player campaign is what the fanbase cares about the most.
4A Games isn’t completely ruling out the inclusion of multiplayer though, as some quick Q&A notes indicate that online DLC may be possible.
Although the team did prototype the multiplayer component early on, it sounds like that lost work won’t set back the game any further, which should make publisher THQ a bit relieved. With all the cutback the company’s had this year, losing Metro: Last Light would certainly leave a large financial gap in 2013.