Amidst Controversy, Horror Game Devotion Removed From Steam
Quite the downward spiral.
Red Candle Games has removed Devotion from Steam. The removal occurs after the game saw heavy review bombing-- a result of an international controversy.
According to PC Gamer, Devotion launched to positive fan reviews on Steam. However, the Taiwanese first-person horror game came under fire when a piece of in-game art that seemingly mocked Chinese president Xi Jinping was discovered. The art compares the president to Winnie the Pooh, a comparison the Chinese government has frequently objected to. Red Candle Games issued an initial statement--which implied the image was simply a placeholder--and removed the image, but after Devotion came under heavy review bombing, the developer followed up with a longer, more comprehensive apology.
"When the art material was made, each teammate was busy working on one's own tasks while chasing the deadline," Red Candle Games wrote in the second blog post. "None of the other colleagues were aware of this. It was until we received a private report made by a player on February 21 that we realized what was exactly written on that art material. Upon learning of this, we immediately replaced the art material within an hour."
"We would also like to take this opportunity to reaffirm that Devotion's publisher Indievent and Winking Entertainment did not know about the art material beforehand and were not involved in this incident at all," the developer continued. "Currently our partnership has terminated." Red Candle Games ended the apology with the announcement that Devotion is now removed from Steam China. However, as of writing this article, the game is gone from Steam entirely. Every trailer for the game has been removed from Red Candle Games' YouTube channel as well.
Devotion is Red Candle's second game, which follows the developer's first horror title, Detention. Both games borrow elements of Taiwanese and Chinese religion and mythology to create terrifying experiences that are also at the same time very intimate and relatable. In Devotion, you explore an abandoned apartment complex in Taiwan during three time periods during the 1980s, only to discover the toll that societal expectations, mental illness, and religious fanaticism had on the family that lived there.
In our Devotion review, Richard Wakeling gave the game a 9/10, writing, "Devotion doesn't quite match the anxiety-inducing frights that permeate each cautious step forward in games like P.T. and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but its domestic terror burrows deep inside your psyche long after the final credits have rolled. The sorrowful story it tells meshes malice with tenderness, metaphor with stark truths, and achieves it all with the nuanced kind of environmental storytelling other games can only strive for."
Red Candle Games hasn't yet announced when, if ever, Devotion will return to Steam. The horror title was only available through the online PC game store, so you currently can no longer buy it.
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