It's been a very rough first week for The Culling 2. Announced a month prior to release, the battle royal game's player base debuted in the low hundreds shortly before plummeting to single digits. Developer Xaviant remained largely quiet following the anemic commercial and critical response before stating on Twitter that the company would require some "soul searching"
On Wednesday, Xaviant's Director of Operations Josh Van Veld announced an end to the development and sale of The Culling 2. "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 the game you expect as a worthy successor to The Culling." Veld explained in a company vlog "This week we'll be in contact with Valve, Sony, and Microsoft to close those stores and to make sure that those of you who bought the game get refunds."
In the same video, Veld confirmed Xaviant would restore development on the original The Culling as a free-to-play game. Responding to fan requests, players will soon be able to play the pre-updated day one version of The Culling on a test server. As the patches progressively roll out, the team will use this original incarnation as "a reference point for [Xaiant] to look back to"
Reactions to the announcement have been a mix of skeptical optimism. With YouTube comments chastising Xaviant's botched sequel and stubbornness, while welcoming the apologetic tone and the return of The Culling. Only time will tell if this goodwill produces a new and larger player base.