Xaviant knew that it messed up big-time with The Culling and its sequel, The Culling 2. The first game fell into a nosedive a few months after launch and the second was torched by bad reviews and bad press, to the point that it was pulled from sale within days of launch.

The reason why things went so poorly? Lack of attention to the community, as the developer “didn’t know how to listen” leading frustrated players to with “no choice but to be toxic.”

Those are the admissions from Director of Operations Josh Van Veld, who told PCGamesN in a two-part interview (Friday and today) that the game’s troubles were the result of too many changes and the developer’s inability to properly gauge customers’ ire.

Van Veld used the classic “can’t see the forest through the trees” analogy when describing Xaviant’s inability to adjust, despite a massive outcry from its customers, saying that they were “bombarded by input.” To compensate, the developer is now surveying the community with regards to changes to the game, and only adopting the ones that seem the most popular.

In the end, Van Veld thinks that his company’s failures will lead to a better product. Its failure was a loud-and-clear message that their current direction wasn’t working and led them to re-pursue the original version of The Culling and make it free-to-play. Recent reviews on Steam are better than they were, at 64%, so the developer seems to be doing at least something right.

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.



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