Early Battle Royale The Culling: Origins Returns to Xbox Header Image

Early Battle Royale The Culling: Origins Returns to Xbox

Written by on | OpenCritic

One of the earliest examples of battle royale games taking the world by storm was The Culling, and it's returning to Xbox as The Culling: Origins this week.

The Culling first launched in 2017 to some acclaim but quickly found itself outpaced in popularity by PUBG and Fortnite, both of which were surging in 2017. The team went to work on a sequel and even released The Culling 2 the next year, but it was swiftly panned and found itself struggling to fill lobbies with much of the gaming world having shifted to its Fortnite obsession by then.

The team then canned the sequel, refunded purchasers, and worked to revive the original and make it a free to play game, but that too came too late. All of this led the battle royale series to disappear completely from storefronts. Until this week, that is.

The Culling: Origins returns to Xbox starting on May 14 for $5.99. The team at Xaviant says anybody who bought the game during its previous run or downloaded it while it was free to play will gain access to the game at no additional charge. If you're new to the game, it also includes a one-day free trial before you're charged. 

The team's Director of Operations, Josh Van Veld, also released a statement addressing the game's unorthodox legacy and the road ahead.

The Culling is one of the pioneers of the Battle Royale genre and even today it stands alone as a unique up-close-and-personal combat experience. We get messages every day from players who want The Culling to come back and for the last several months we’ve been working to make that happen. Our new approach focuses on sustainability - we’ve optimized our systems to keep server costs low and we’ve shifted our monetization approach to ensure that players will be able to visit the island for years to come. Initially we’re focusing on Xbox One with this effort, but we’re working to bring back the PC version in the future.

The game will take advantage of several updates since it was last playable, including "dramatically" improved visuals, a revised stamina system, and better AI behaviors for offline play. The game's crates and premium items have also been removed from the store, though players can still earn crates through play. 

Alongside all of this comes an interesting new pay model. After the $5.99 price of the game itself, players can play one free online game every day. After that, players earn Online Match Tokens by winning online games or buying packs of tokens at a rate of three tokens for $0.99, 10 tokens for $2.99, or 20 tokens for $4.99. Offline play is also available. 

The Culling: Origins relaunches on May 14 exclusively on Xbox.


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