The Culling is a multiplayer-focused first-person survival action game developed and published digitally by Xaviant for the Xbox One and PC (via Steam) on October 5, 2017. It was originally released in early access as both a Steam Early Access title (on March 4, 2016) and a Xbox Game Preview title (on June 2, 2017).
One of the earliest dedicated examples of the "battle royale" sub-genre, The Culling takes place in a dystopian futuristic game show where players aim to be the last man standing (or last team standing). Each match pits a certain amount of players (16 for standard games and 8 for "Lighting Round" games), human or A.I., in either a small lifeless island (filled with empty buildings) or a prison facility that slowly encloses itself with poisonous gas. These players must scavenge the environment for weapons, traps, and other items and work to kill all other enemy players.
Unlike most games in the "battle royale" sub-genre, the game focuses highly on melee combat with rudimentary weapons (including bladed and bludgeon weapons), with ranged weapons in short supply. It also features a special crafting system, where players earn FUNC (Flexible Universal Nano-Compound) during the match for use in either crafting additional items or obtaining certain types of loot. Throughout each match, the game utilizes randomized special events (where, similar to game shows, participating players can be rewarded).
It runs on the Unreal Engine 4 game engine and later received a sequel in 2018.