Gamers allege the title was delisted after pressure from the Chinese government.
Taiwanese horror title Devotion was added and then quickly delisted from GOG.com, prompting gamers to allege the title was removed after continued pressure from the Chinese government.
Devotion was first released to Steam on 19 February 2019 before being delisted on that platform days later on 26 February 2019. While developer Red Candle Games originally asserted that it was pulled over quality concerns, many instead believe the title was pulled over an Easter egg which depicted Chinese President, Xi Jinping, as a “Winnie-the-Pooh moron”.
Once the Easter egg was discovered, the game’s Steam page began to receive negative reviews from posters identifying themselves as Chinese citizens.
“The game developers truly disappoint me when they dare to secretly include such a sensitive bomb while selling their products to Chinese players who, at the very beginning, know nothing about those message until they are revealed as late as yesterday,” one review read.
Red Candle Games apologised for the Easter egg and submitted a patch for the game on 21 February that removed the offensive content.
“We are deeply sorry for the trouble it caused to everyone, and that we sincerely ask for the forgiveness of our players,” the developer said at the time, also indicating the Easter egg was a placeholder that was never intended to be published.
The title has yet to reappear on the Steam marketplace. In July 2019, Red Candle issued an additional statement that read, “for the past four months, the art asset incident related to ‘Devotion’ has caused immeasurable harm to Red Candle Games and our partner. We would like to offer our most sincere apology to all impacted teams and personnel.”
Flash-forward to today, and Red Candle’s announcement that Devotion — presumably, in its patched form — would be available on GOG.com later in the week.
“The content and the price of the re-release remains the same, for $16.99 / €13.99,” a tweet read. “Thank you for your trust and support. We wish you a happy end of the year.”
Five hours later, GOG.com’s Twitter account relayed news that the game would not, in fact, appear in its marketplace.
“Earlier today, it was announced that the game Devotion is coming to GOG,” the tweet read. “After receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store.”
Neither GOG.com nor Red Candle Games has elaborated further, prompting western gamers to allege that the Chinese government has pressured the marketplace — ran by Cyberpunk 2077‘s CD Projekt Red — to drop the title.
Update: Red Candle Games has released a statement.
“Though regretful… we are willing to understand and respect GOG’s decision,” it begins. “For the players looking forward to Devotion‘s re-release, please accept our most sincere apology. This is a difficult predicament to overcome, but we won’t stop striving.”
We’ll update you on Devotion‘s situation as more comes to light.