What Really Happened with the Controversial Game 'Devotion'?

February 27, 2019
What Really Happened with the Controversial Game 'Devotion'?

According to many media sources, popular horror game Devotion was banned from Steam because Chinese players claimed it insults their country. The controversy was formed around a piece of in-game art which showed a picture of China’s president Xi Jinping and the character Winnie the Pooh next to the word "moron".

The issue is that Winnie the Pooh has often been used in memes parodying the president of China. Devotion's developer Red Candle Games is based in Taiwan, so this unfortunate turn implied that the political question between China and Taiwan is brought up, considering the tension between the two countries. Namely, China is still considering Taiwan the extension of China, while Taiwan has its own elected government and identity.

In a Steam post developer stated: "When making the prototype, the team often referred to the then known internet slang as placeholder. However, due to the version synchronizing problem, not all of the placeholders were deleted properly. This is purely an accident, and we have no intention for causing harm nor hatred. The art material has been taken down and replaced at the evening of February 21."

Latter post by the Red Candle Games explained that “the words written on the art material does not stand for Red Candle Games’ stance, nor is it in any ways related to Devotion’s story and theme". They also said that the partnership with Devotion’s publisher had been terminated over the controversy.

However, in a post on their Facebook page, Red Candle Games wrote:

"Due to technical issues that cause unexpected crashes and among other reasons, we are pulling 'Devotion' off from Steam store to have another complete QA check. At the same time, we'd like to take this opportunity to ease the heightened pressure in our community resulted from our previous Art Material Incident, our team would also review our game material once again making sure no other unintended materials were inserted in. Hopefully, this would help all audience to focus on the game itself again upon its return."

This means that the game isn't banned from the store and that players can expect its return.