After much drama, developer Xaviant is removing The Culling 2 from Steam.
In a new video, Xaviant director of operations Josh Van Veld stated that the team has become aware that “The Culling 2 was not a game that you asked for, and it’s not the game that you expected as a worthy successor to The Culling.” He then explained that The Culling 2 will be removed from Steam and that the studio will instead devote their efforts to improving the original game.
“Our immediate goal for The Culling in terms of our first update is to take the October 2017 build that’s live right now and to modify it so that every aspect of the gameplay matches the day one build,” said Van Veld. The whole situation with the day one build is a bit of a mess, but basically, the team is going to work on the existing version of The Culling by implementing a series of improvements. When the team is happy with where the game is at, they will turn The Culling into a free-to-play title. That should happen sometime later this year.
This update explains that statement that came from Xaviant’s Twitter account that informed fans that “It’s time for us here at Xaviant to come together for some much needed soul searching and to have some admittedly difficult discussions about the future of our studio.
In case you haven’t been following this whole situation, you should first know that The Culling 2, the sequel to the 2016 battle royale game, debuted as a massive failure. Two days after the game’s launch, the peak player count via Steam was a mere 13 players (it takes 50 players to fill a full match). At one point, just two people in the world were playing The Culling 2 at the same time. Mind you, the game’s highest consecutive player count – which occurred just an hour after the game’s release – was only 249.
That’s bad, but the real story of The Culling 2 lies in the game’s Steam reviews. At present, The Culling 2 has a “Very Negative” rating on Steam with 137 of the game’s 159 reviews being categorized as negative. While some players certainly cite the embarrassingly low player count as an issue, their complaints go far beyond the game’s struggles to find an audience right out the gate.
Indeed, the majority of complaints seem to be coming from players who fondly remember The Culling as a more melee-focused take on the battle royale genre that forced players to truly make the best of what they found on the battlefield. Rather than improve the things that made the original title unique among its genre, developer Xaviant has seemingly seen fit to turn the title into what is being charitably described as a poor man’s PUBG. There’s no shortage of players referring to the title as a cash grab.
While some of the sequel’s defenders are saying that those negative reviews are coming from players who came into this sequel angry about changes made to the original Culling, footage from the title suggests that The Culling 2 suffers from some serious technical problems that are only amplified by the popular perception that PUBG is strictly better at everything this sequel was trying to accomplish.
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