Delistings happen for a lot of reasons but political dissent is a rare one. Devotion, a new horror game from Taiwanese developer Red Candle Games, was seemingly pulled from Steam on Monday the 25th for a jab at China’s president, Xi Jinping. The artwork at the center of the controversy is a poster that could be found in-game depicting the president as “Xi Jinping Winnie-the-Pooh moron”, according to translations. The president is reportedly averse to comparisons to the dopey bear, going as far as banning Disney’s film Christopher Robin from release in China and establishing a social media crackdown on similar likenesses.
When Devotion was still available on Steam, Red Candle Games first responded by saying that the artwork was a placeholder asset mistakenly left in the game but later admitted that one of their artists created and placed it. In the next follow-up, Red Candle Games explained their situation further and asked that critics not attack their development and publishing partners. In the most current post as of this writing, the studio said that the game was removed from Steam for bug fixes and to “ease the heightened pressure” from the community who had been review bombing the game since the artwork was first discovered. The full post reads:
“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 was inserted in. Hopefully this would help all audience to focus on the game itself again upon its return.”
As of this writing Devotion is still unavailable on Steam. I’ll keep an eye out for its return and get a game page up soon on the site. Source: Polygon