Taiwanese dev Red Candle withdraws horror Devotion from sale over Xi Jinping insult

Red Candle Games has pulled its latest release, Devotion, from the Steam store after Chinese players review bombed the indie horror because of an in-game poster that said "Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh moron" apparently referring to the Chinese president.

The developer apologised for the poster (thanks, Eurogamer) and insisted it was inserted by a lone developer without the knowledge of anyone else in the studio.

"It was [not] 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," the developers said. "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.

"It is not Red Candle’s vision to secretly project extensive ideology, nor is it to attack any person in the real world," the statement added. "Even if the sensitive art element was wrongfully placed before, we kindly ask you not to over interpret other game material."

Consequently, the studio lost its publishing agreement with partners Indievent and Winking Entertainment, leaving Red Candle to "take full responsibility to compensate the relevant loss based on the contract."

Now it seems the game has been pulled entirely, although a Facebook post attributes the removal to "technical issues".

"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 result[ing] 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."

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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