Earlier this week, we covered the shaky launch of Xaviant Games’ The Culling 2, a battle royale title that was billed as a new-and-improved sequel to The Culling. The game wasn’t received well on Steam; there appeared to be almost no players actually playing, reviews were nearing rock bottom, and players of the original game were rioting over their belief that Xaviant abandoned the first game, which was much more respectably received with over 13,000 “mixed” reviews.
Xaviant has accepted the reaction, and in fact, has responded with a video that will probably make you feel terrible for the devs involved. “It’s been a lot to take in, but we’ve been having a lot of discussions and one thing that has emerged very clearly for us is that The Culling 2 was not a game that you asked for, and it’s not a game that you expect as a worthy successor to The Culling,” Xaviant Director of Operations Josh Van Veld admits.
Consequently, the sequel has been canceled and will be pulled from digital shelves with full refunds to those who bought it. The company will be returning to The Culling and doubling down on the parts of it that made it unique and got all those good reviews in the first place, specifically by bringing back the original game’s day-one version and putting The Culling back into development, then ultimately turning it free-to-play.
It’s an incredibly penitent and honest video that should probably be watched by every dev and player for a look at how a studio can generate sympathy and move forward after a public disaster.