After being launched just over a week ago, The Culling 2 is being shut down by its developer Xaviant.
This comes from a very earnest video featuring director of operations, Josh Van Veld.
He recalls the woeful launch of the second game which had player numbers in the single digits less than a day after launch, making it impossible to play outside of the starting area.
Then comes the kicker: The Culling 2 will be removed from all online stores, and Xaviant will work with them to issue refunds to buyers.
And then comes the second kicker: the original game will be reverted to the very first iteration which entered early access.
This may seem like a very weird move if you didn’t follow the development of that game. After a lot of success as a melee-focused battle royale (a genre it actually helped popularise), the devs made a long series of updates and changes which the community hated.
By the time it left early access many people abandoned the game because they felt this new version wasn’t as fun as the “vanilla” experience. It seemed, at the time, like Xaviant refused to listen to their community, something Van Veld addresses in the video.
This vanilla version of the game will be made available to PC players, for free, and Xaviant will begin developing it all over again.
We don’t think any game series has ever taken this route. From early access, to finished game, to sequel and back to early access. Regardless of what you think of these games and the people making them, it’s a bit of a landmark moment.
Will Xaviant do things better the second (or third) time? We have no idea, but we’re excited to find out.