The Culling screenshot of a crossbow at sunset

Before PUBG and Fortnite made the whole Battle Royale genre explode in popularity, there was a small but rather successful Battle Royale game called The Culling. Unfortunately, due to some extremely questionable balance changes and overall tweaks, The Culling ended up slowly losing most of its momentum and playerbase, a problem it never really managed to recover from.

Usually that would be the end of the story, but after seeing how successful PUBG and Fortnite were, the developer Xaviant decided to give the concept another try and released a a sequel called The Culling 2. To say that it ended up being a failure would be quite an understatement, especially considering that even on launch it could barely fill a single server. However, even this massive setback did not stop Xaviant.

Instead, they opted to return to the original The Culling, reverse all of the questionable balance changes they made years prior, and start the whole game anew. This time around Xaviant actually managed to find a formula that worked and appealed to the players, but sadly the damage to The Culling's reputation was already done. With plenty of different Battle Royale games already available and competing for everyone's valuable free time, very few new people ended up checking out the freshly revamped The Culling.

The Culling screenshot of the player pushing an enemy off a cliff

The Culling's melee combat was pretty fun to mess around with

While I would love to tell you that this story is leading up to a happy ending, I'm afraid that reality is a bit more cruel than that. As such, I am saddened to announce that The Culling's servers will be shutting down on May 15th, 2019. The offline modes will remain available after that date, but all of the online modes and features will be going away.

"While it’s sad for us to say goodbye, we want to offer a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has enjoyed the game, contributed feedback, and spent their hard-earned money to support our efforts over the years," reads the official announcement. "The Culling has always been a labor of love, a learning experience, and an opportunity to pursue our passion for making games."

The developers are currently looking for other studios to pick up the torch and potentially give The Culling a third chance, but given its history so far, I wouldn't exactly get my hopes up. Whatever the future may bring, you can follow the developers, as well as learn more about The Culling, over at the official website.