They are second-guessing themselves. Where possible, they should leave the option to have these in place in the Advanced Options panel of game setup. Players that want X feature can have it, and if it really really sucks, they won't enable it in the end.
This isn't just a gameplay decision, it's also a PR decision! Clearly a group of players wishes to shoot themselves in the foot*: allow them to do so, though not by default. By not allowing it, you're not getting the positive publicity you should be getting.
*And hey, some of us like being shot in the foot
Or just turn it back on and leave it on, and say "this is what the SP game is, MP is the same and we're not making special modes for it."
I mean AI War has no competitive MP at all. The gameplay doesn't work well for it, so rather then mangle stuff to try and get it in the author just said that it won't work and didn't even try. The coop MP works great, because it fits so well with how the SP game is played.
They had this backwards from the start. Rather then try to make Elemental something its not to appeal to a crowd that wasn't interested in the first place, they could have simply left the same game in both SP and MP and at least appealed to those who like the game and just want more humans.