Figurative hat in hand, Director of Operations Josh Van Veld posted a video today on behalf of his staff at Xaviant in regards to The Culling and The Culling 2. The team has decided to take some drastic measures to hopefully once again earn trust from the community and make The Culling a viable title for the studio.
First and foremost, Xaviant has decided to pull The Culling 2 from PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One stores. The title has been getting abysmal reviews, and judging from the amount of people playing the game, sales have been lackluster at best.
“I think most of you know that last week we launched The Culling 2, and that launch was not successful.” Van Veld then takes a seemingly emotional hard swallow before continuing. “It’s been difficult for us to wrap our heads around the entire situation. It’s been a lot to take in, but we’ve been having a lot of discussions. And one thing that emerged very clearly for us is that The Culling 2 was not a game that you asked for. And it’s not the game that you expect as a worthy successor to The Culling.”
He later continues, “So with that in mind we decided that the best course of action is to take that game down off of store shelves.” Van Veld also confirmed that those that bought The Culling 2 will get full refunds.
Xaviant’s Direct of Operations then let the studio’s remaining fans know what the team’s plan is going forward:
“We’ve been looking for ways forward and what’s been interesting is that the solutions that we’ve come up with are the same types of things that you suggested to us when we told you that we were in a tough spot and we were thinking about what to do next. So I can announce right now that one of things that we will do moving forward is go back to The Culling Day 1.”
This has to be both extremely frustrating yet simultaneously comforting to fans of Xaviant’s battle royale title. Their initial release had promise when it debuted with its Day 1 build in March 2016. But as fans spoke out about what changes they would like to see to better the game, Xaviant blatantly ignored their input and changed The Culling “too much too fast” in ways that no one asked for.
Now, years later, Van Veld confirms that the original The Culling Day 1 build is coming back to the game’s test servers later this week:
“What we see is that there’s tremendous value in the Day 1 build of The Culling. And you’ve been asking for it, and it’s been hard for us to accept that that’s something that we need to put the work into to get to you. But we’ve decided it’s time.”
The plan is for the team to keep the Day 1 build on the test servers permanently so that the team can use it as a reference point going forward. The October 2017 build of The Culling, the last update the game received, will be adjusted upon so that the core of the game reflects something more akin to the original Day 1 version.
Van Veld also announced that The Culling would be going free-to-play in order to hopefully garner some attention from gamers that have yet to give the title a chance. And the studio is certainly hoping that these goodwill gestures will bring back fans that walked away from The Culling as it veered off course. Will it work though? We’ll have to wait and find out over the coming weeks and months.