Devotion’s return to Steam uncertain following meme controversy
The studio’s Chinese publisher’s business license was revoked by the government.
Taiwanese developer, Red Candle Games released a statement on their Twitter account this week stating they do not intend to ‘re-release their game in the near-term.’ The open letter discusses what they refer to as ‘the asset incident related to Devotion’ which involved a hidden meme in the game comparing Chinese President Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.
Chinese players took particular offence to this content and the developers faced significant backlash online. The fallout led to the game being review bombed on Steam and the developers making the difficult decision to pull the game from sale.
The letter speaks of the damage this caused to the studio stating that the incident has ’caused immeasurable harm to Red Candle Games’ and their ‘partners.’ They go on to offer their sincerest apologies to all affected parties and vow to continue to find a resolution. It seems like this has had a disastrous effect on some of the people involved with the game.
It doesn’t sound like the studio will be closing down though, but whether Devotion will ever return to Steam at this point is still up in the air with the developers stating that ‘Red Candle would reconsider re-releasing Devotion’ once they ‘rebuild trust with [their] players.’
Some speculated that the inclusion of the content could have been some kind of publicity stunt to provoke a reaction but the studio was keen to make clear that it wasn’t.
It seems the future of Devotion is uncertain, which is a shame as it’s a great game, scoring a 9/10 in our review. It does sound like the developers would like to put the game back out there but they’re waiting to gauge what the reaction to that will be. Either way, it seems only time will tell what’s next for the studio.