The Culling: Origins, the final attempt to keep The Culling alive, has announced that the game will be shutting down completely in May 2019. Xaviant Games took this version of the early battle royale title free-to-play earlier in 2018 in an attempt to keep it running, but revenue just isn’t coming in fast enough for the work on the title to continue.
The history of The Culling: Origins is a bit complex, but I’ll do my best to summarize it.
The original game, The Culling, launched in 2016 to some early success. The tense combat and unique mechanics arguably helped shape the battle royale genre, but as the genre was at least a couple of years from the monstrous wave of popularity it’s currently riding, Xaviant needed a real smash-hit to keep things going smoothly.
Cut ahead to the end of 2017, and the first signs of real trouble appear. The game had failed to capture a viable long-term playerbase, and has left the studio in financial dire straits. But instead of trying to fix that original version, the team rushed a “sequel” to market six months later, causing major outrage among fans, and leading to even worse player numbers.
Xaviant tried one last time to revive the franchise with a relaunch of an improved version of the original game, The Culling: Origins, with overhauled systems, microtransactions, and being completely free.. As you could probably guess, that hasn’t worked out too well.
Speaking on the closure, and revealing the sad state of affairs at the studio, Director of Operations Josh Van Veld wrote:
When we launched the Origins update and made the game free to play, our hope was that the revenue generated from in-app purchases would be enough to sustain our team and support ongoing development, but unfortunately that was not the case.
Even with thousands of active daily users, the revenue was only a fraction of what our dev team required to continue daily operations. As a result, we’ve been forced to reduce our team size, which renders us unable to provide ongoing support and updates that would allow the game to grow and thrive.
So it seems that the last-ditch attempts to keep the ailing game alive have ultimately failed, which is always sad, especially for the people who lost on their livelihood.
The Culling Origins will go offline on May 15th, 2019. Read the full announcement over here.