Devotion pulled from GOG before going live

Earlier today, the developers of the horror game Devotion announced that it would return for sale through GOG on Friday. It has not been available for purchase since early 2019 due to a joke in the game at the expense of Chinese president Xi Jinping. Hours later, GOG has released their own special statement reversing their decision to release.

In February 2019, Taiwanese studio Red Candle Games released Devotion, the horror game that looks a lot like them. Shortly afterwards, Devotion was pulled from Steam thanks to a small, in-game poster commentary, referring to Chinese president Xi Jinping and cartoon character Winnie The Pooh. The comparison is a painful place for the Chinese government, which criticized a reference to Pooh bear in 2017 when the pair appeared to be something of a meme.

Chinese players reviewed the game on Steam, the studio apologized, and Devotion was taken out of Steam not only in China, but across the globe. Devotion publisher Indievent also revoked their business license with the Chinese government over the issue.

Today, Red Candle named that Devotion would eventually return to sales over GOG. It would be available on Friday, Dec. 18 for $ 17 / € 14, they said. Just a few hours later, GOG they made their own news say that they have changed their minds about that, in fact.

From what I’ve seen, people are very much like Devotion and want it to be available again, so it’s weird for GOG to say that “gamers” didn’t want it when that doesn’t seem to happen. It’s quite a move from GOG, a sibling company to CD Projekt Red, developers of Cyberpunk 2077. Despite their attempts at anti-corpo sentiments and the impact on the beauty of punk in Cyberpunk, CD Projekt, after all in all, just like any other big company that tends to protect their bottom line.

It’s a shame, to say the least, that Devotion can’t escape the controversy because it’s a good game with a lot of accounts. The Devotion RPS review praises the game for its awesome, progressive story that is deeply rooted in true East Asian culture. “Awesome games based in East Asian folklore are already scarce, and it is even rarer to see one garner attract such attention among western and international players,” arsa Khee Hoon Chan. “Over time, Devotion may be remembered for its separation within the genre, rather than its connection to a meme that has gone wrong.”

It seems that time has not yet come, unfortunately.

I’ve reached out to GOG to find out how they decided to list Devotion on their store and took such a quick look at the subject. We will update you if we hear back.

Beforehand, Red Candle’s previous game Movement now has a Netflix series. They are also working on a new game that has not been announced yet.

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