Development of The Culling has come to a halt

It's been well over a year since we last looked at the small-scale battle royale game The Culling. It was "sloppy but fun," we said in our March 2016 analysis, "and it's easy to see why it instantly became a Steam top seller and a popular show on Twitch." But the battle royale scene now is a lot different than it was then: The Culling has been utterly eclipsed by PUBG, and just a couple of months after it finally came out of Early Access the developers at Xaviant are moving on to other things. 

"This past October, we brought The Culling out of Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview. Battle royale, the genre we helped to pioneer, is now a favorite of millions and we can’t help but feel a sense of pride for having been part of its birth," director of operations Josh Van Veld wrote in the "Final Island Diary." 

"After more than two years dedicated to making The Culling, it’s time to announce that Xaviant has begun work on a new title. Despite having grown our then tiny team into a slightly larger group of twenty developers, this means that our entire focus is now on our new project. There are no future updates planned for The Culling." 

The good news is that the servers will remain online "for the foreseeable future," so those 15 of you who are currently playing will be able to continue to do so. (Seriously, it's 15.) But that doesn't seem like a state of affairs that can be maintained for very long, especially since The Culling hasn't had a triple-digit peak concurrent player count since May.   

"While we’re excited to be working on something new, it’s also bittersweet to be moving on," Van Veld wrote. "No matter who you are or how much you participated in the game’s development over the last couple of years, I want to offer a sincere thank you on behalf of myself and the Xaviant team for being part of something special. We know we couldn’t have done it without you and we are eternally grateful." 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.