The story of The Culling and its horrendous sequel, The Culling 2, is a lesson to all game developers. The Culling started off as a unique battle royale experience which mostly resembled The Hunger Games. However, developer Xaviant changed The Culling so much before launch that it was almost an unrecognizable product by the time it left early access. This drove away many gamers and ultimately led to the studio abandoning the title a few months after release.
If you think that's ridiculous, wait until you hear what happened next. A few months after abandoning The Culling and ignoring the pleas of many gamers, Xaviant announced The Culling 2. The Culling 2 was basically a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds clone which didn't bring anything new to the oversaturated genre. The game was effectively dead at launch and a few days later Xaviant said the team was discussing the future of the studio.
At this point everyone thought Xaviant would close down, but today the studio announced a plan to turn things around. According to the YouTube message, The Culling 2 will be pulled from all stores and those who purchased it will be given refunds. Better yet, the developer will go back to the early build of the original game, make it free-to-play, and develop it from there. Hopefully this will bring players back and attract a new audience.
It's unclear if the Xbox One version of The Culling will eventually go free-to-play too. So far these plans seem to be centered around the PC build. We'll keep you posted as soon as we receive any more information.
Updated July 23, 2018: Xaviant confirmed that The Culling will go free-to-play on Xbox One too.
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