The Culling: Origins Goes Free-to-Play September 14th

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Greetings Contestants!

Battle Royale is back.

Not only is that the official tagline of The Culling: Origins, but it’s also very true, which makes it the best slogan of September 2018.

With Origins right around the corner, we think it’s time to give you an overview of the update as well as answer some lingering questions. We’re in the relative calm before the storm of our relaunch, so it seems fitting to take a moment to speak from the heart. Two months ago, our studio felt like we’d crashed into the rocks. We were stuck and there was no clear path forward. We had to take a moment, take a breath, and think about how we’d steered our ship into such a predicament.

After some real, serious soul-searching, we realized that there was no clear path forward unless we went back to right some wrongs in our past. The Culling is the game that put us on the map and presented us with some amazing opportunities. But you, the community, are the people who made that opportunity real. Somehow we lost sight of that, and we lost our way when we let you down.

When we decided to return to our origins by returning to The Culling, we knew it was the right thing to do. We didn’t know if that choice would keep our studio alive, and to be honest, we still don’t know for sure. What we do know is that there was a tremendous outpouring of hope and support from the game’s most hardcore fans and from the community at large.

Your hope is infectious and your positive messages put wind back in our sails.

Admitting failure and choosing a path forward wasn’t easy, but once we started to put one foot in front of the other, plans fell naturally into place. Looking back, the last two months have been an utter joy. We’re a group of developers who love making games, and this Origins update has given us an opportunity to tackle a new challenge together. The stakes are incredibly high for us, but that makes the challenge even more exciting.

Adding to our new sense of purpose is the fact that you have been with us each step of the way. We’re still not perfect and we have a lot of room to grow, but we did our best to share our plans and gather your input as we went. And from where we sit now, it feels like the process is working. The Culling, which started out as a great game, is better than ever with Origins. It’s one of the grandfathers of the Battle Royale genre, and even today it stands alone as a completely unique experience.

The Culling is brutal. It’s in your face. It rewards patience, strategy, and smart decisions as much as mechanical skill. It’s now a game that’s confident in its own skin, a game that has been shaped by your influence. It’s a collaboration in the truest sense of the word.

Whatever happens in the coming weeks and months, we are grateful for this second chance. We can hold our heads up high knowing that we chose a path less taken because it was the right thing to do. Thank you for that.

Now, let’s talk about what we have in store for you this week.

What is The Culling: Origins?

It goes without saying that the biggest change is that The Culling: Origins is free-to-play, which has been one of the most requested features from our community. Yet, there’s much more to Origins than simply a change in format.

When The Culling originally launched in March of 2016, it had an exciting, “anything goes” approach to battle royale that was eventually sanded down over the course of many updates. Origins brings back that special mojo by returning to the game’s roots, incorporating the spirit of Day 1 combat, perks, airdrops and overall gameplay.

Blending the classic with the new, Origins also offers some big improvements over the original. Origins introduces a stunning new art direction that modernizes the original feel of The Culling. It also adds new features, including XP and leveling, leaderboards, Cull Crates, hundreds of new cosmetics, new weapons, skill-based matchmaking, and voice chat.

There are some systems (such as wounds) that don’t match Day 1, nor do they utilize what was in the latest live version of the game. Whenever we encountered a situation where we felt that the Day 1 approach wasn’t viable, we utilized surveys to gather community feedback that informed our decisions.

If you’d like to read up on the details, you can find our Dev Diaries at theculling.com.
(we’re updating our website right now so maybe go there in little bit)

When can I play The Culling Origins?

The Culling: Origins launches this Friday, September 14th at 12PM Eastern Daylight time for Steam PC.

How does free-to-play work in Origins?

All aspects of gameplay are completely free-to-play in Origins.

If you do want to support The Culling and spend real money, we’re offering ways to purchase premium cosmetics (clothing, weapon skins, taunts, victory celebrations, and Culling Cards) through premium currency and paid DLC.

The cosmetics system works like this:

As you play, you earn XP. When you’ve earned enough XP, you level up, which grants you a Cull Crate. Each Cull Crate awards 4 items. These can be standard cosmetic items or stacks of Credits.

Credits, which are also awarded whenever you receive a duplicate item in a Cull Crate, can be used to directly purchase standard cosmetic items.

Origins adds Premium items and currency to the mix. Some items (many of which are newly added to the game with the Origins update), are designated as Premium and can only be purchased with Tokens. You can also use tokens to buy packs of Cull Crates.

Tokens are purchased with real money and also infrequently drop from Cull Crates. In addition to Tokens, there are paid DLC packs with exclusive items.

The Culling does not (and will never) feature any pay-to-win mechanics. All premium purchases are cosmetic and intended as a means to support the dev team and the game.

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What if I bought The Culling before it was free to play?

All players who bought The Culling before it was free to play are entitled to our “Original Gangster” founder’s pack. For new players, this DLC package is priced to reflect the highest price we ever charged for The Culling.

It includes two full “O.G.” outfits, 1000 Tokens, 10 Cull Crates, 4 Culling Cards, 2 weapon skins, a Taunt, and a Celebration. All of the cosmetic items contained in the DLC are new and exclusive to the Founder’s Pack, meaning that you can’t purchase them individually or get them from Cull Crates.

The Founder’s Pack is meant to show our appreciation for the game’s original supporters as well as provide an avenue for new players to get in on the action.

If you are a returning player who played The Culling after the Big House update, all of your stats, progress and unlocks are retained in Origins. This includes all of the exclusive items from the past, such as the Trials Winner t-shirts, which were limited-time and cannot be unlocked by new players.

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When is The Culling: Origins coming to Xbox One?

We don’t have a firm date yet but we’re working to get the update to Xbox players ASAP. There is custom work required to support free-to-play on Xbox One as well as a certification process that must be passed. We’ll let you know when we have a better estimate.

What maps are included in The Culling: Origins?

For many players, the Island map is emblematic of the true essence of The Culling and delivers the gameplay experience you most associate with the world’s deadliest game show.

Because of this, Origins features the Island map for online play.

While it is not currently fully supported (and lacks the Day 1 tuning it will require), players can still experience the Prison offline as well as in online custom matches. We will consider re-introducing the Prison for future updates, but for now we want to ensure the best possible queue times and matchmaking, so limiting the game to the original map makes the most sense.

Can I create custom matches in Origins?

Yes, players are free to create custom matches in Origins on Steam PC.

Though Xbox One did not support custom matches in the past, we’re happy to report that they will be able to access this feature soon.

What regions is Origins available to play in?

We have server clusters available in North America (East and West Coast), Europe, and Oceania. Future region support will be determined by player demand.

How does Origins deal with cheaters?

The Culling: Origins features Easy Anti-Cheat protection. We are committed to an ongoing effort to keep cheaters and toxic players out of the game.

How do Leaderboards work?

Leaderboards in Origins are seasonal. Ranks are displayed for top winners, top killers, and top scores.

Scoring is based on your ten best match scores for the season. Match scores are based on your placement, kills (kill value increases as the match progresses), and time alive. To achieve Diamond rank (and have a chance to be seen by everyone), you’ll need to win 10 matches with an impressive number of kills in each match.

There are separate leaderboards for Solo and Duos.

Will The Culling be updated in the future?

Yes! Origins represent a new beginning for development of The Culling. We have lots of ideas for the future, but we also want to know what you’d like to see. Here are some of the things we’re thinking about, in no particular order:

  • Ongoing bug fixes and stability improvements

  • Ongoing optimization

  • Minor balancing based on community feedback

  • Improved custom match support, with mutators that allow the host to customize the experience, dedicated spectator slots, and the ability to kick players from custom lobbies

  • New perks and airdrops

  • Battle Pass to encourage varied play styles and provide a means for players to experience incremental performance-based progress and rewards

  • Limited-time game modes

  • More robust support for teams matches, including revive mechanic (possibly in Perk form), Team-focused perks, more teams in a match, and larger team sizes

  • New cosmetics and avenues for customizing your experience

  • Player reporting system

You can look forward to more surveys not long after Origins launches.

It’s been a pretty wild rollercoaster ride here at Xaviant for the last couple of months. While it can be scary to take a big risk, it’s also thrilling, especially when you know you have the community’s support behind you.

We’ve been having an absolute blast getting Origins ready for you and we hope you love it as much as we do. Please come out for the relaunch, and bring a few (hundred) friends with you. This is a labor of love for us, but it won’t succeed unless you make it happen.

Until next time,

We’ll see you on the Island this Friday.

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