The Culling 2 had possibly the worst launch imaginable. It came out on July 10 and immediately tanked, dropping to single-digit player counts and earning a Mostly Negative review rating on Steam. We won’t bother linking to its Steam page because developer Xaviant is in talks with Valve (and other digital storefronts) to remove the game and issue refunds — and is also planning to relaunch the first Culling game as a free-to-play battle royale game.

In a YouTube video, Director of Operations Josh Van Veld admits quite bluntly that “The Culling 2 was not a game that you asked for.” Despite the issues with the first game, and hostility from the players, Van Veld said that Xaviant “didn’t see a path forward” and now realizes that abandoning it for The Culling 2 was a mistake.

“We realized that we changed too much, too fast, and that there was something very unique and very special about the personality of that game … We were too eager to modify, to balance, to retune, and so we took a game that you guys loved, and we changed it out from under you, and I want to apologize for that.”

The Culling will be rolled back to its “day one” state on test servers later this week. If you already own the game, you’ll be able to try it out, complete with perks, airdrops, and all the other features that made it — from what I saw in the few streams of it I watched — an interesting twist on battle royale when the genre was still in its infancy.

Van Veld knows that getting people to come back to a two-year-old game that “failed,” however, is a tall order. That’s why, when testing is complete and The Culling’s day one version is ready, the game will be free-to-play. There are no details on what the cash shop will look like, but Fortnite: Battle Royale has thrived with Season Passes and cosmetics, so we’d anticipate something similar.

Will you be getting into (or getting back into) The Culling?

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


  1. Damn. Usually studios would rather die than admit they were wrong (*cough*Bosskey*cough*). Good on them. I always heard that the first iteration of the Culling was great while the later versions were… not so great, so it’s good to see the devs owning up to their mistakes and fixing their game. I’ll give it a try once it comes out f2p.


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