Taiwanese game Devotion pulled from steam for hidden insult


The Taiwanese horror game “Devotion” has been pulled from Steam for an in-game meme about the Chinese president and Winnie the Pooh.

Taiwanese  horror game Devotion is all over YouTube right now, but for varying reasons…

The first-person atmospheric horror game is being played by popular players but made news for review bombs it received on Steam. While it began with positive reviews, Devotion was hit with negative review after negative review from its Chinese players after a meme of Winnie the Pooh was found in the game.

The Chinese president Xi Jinping has often been compared to the poplar animated character and Chinese gamers were not pleased. According to Polygon, the game has been temporarily removed from Steam.

Image courtesy of Red Candle Games

Devotion follows a family in 80s Taiwan who is very religious (hence the Devotion title). As you sort through the years in the apartment they lived in, it changes before your eyes to reveal the darkness that lived with them.

When the game released on Feb. 19, most reviews were positive until a poster was found on the wall decorating a room that said, “Xi Jinping Winnie-the-Pooh- moron.” When Chinese players saw the meme, the game’s Steam page was hit with a wave of negative reviews causing the developers, Red Candle Games, to pull the game for a quality check.

Red Candle Games made a statement on Steam as to why this occurred:

"When making the prototype, the team often referred to the then known internet slang as placeholder. However, due to the version synchronizing problem, not all of the placeholders were deleted properly. This is purely an accident, and we have no intention for causing harm nor hatred. The said art material has been taken down and replaced at the evening of February 21. This incident indicates the fact that Red Candle Games’ project management has failed to function. As a game company, Red Candle Games has immense room for improvement. We are deeply sorry for the trouble it caused to everyone, and that we sincerely ask for the forgiveness of our players."

The issue is very sensitive, especially given the tense relationship between China and Taiwan. Taiwan has been fighting for it’s independence and to be recognized as its own country, while many see Taiwan as a part of China. Due to that political unrest, some bad feelings exist between the two. Also, Xi is known for being very sensitive for his comparisons to Winnie the Pooh.

Image courtesy of Red Candle Games

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So, what does this mean for the fate of Devotion? The game is undergoing some maintenance with plans of being added back to Steam after a check. You can see YouTubers like Jacksepticeye play the game until you can get your hands on it for yourself. The game is only available for Steam, so until it hits the page again, it is unavailable unless you already picked it up.

After watching gameplay, the game looks good. It’s been getting comparisons to P.T. but it does move a bit slow. It may be more fun to play than it is to watch. Since it focuses heavy on folklore and religion, it’s a neat way to get a peak into the culture. Mandarin is spoken in-game but subtitles are available.

Keep an eye on Steam for its return because if you like story driven games, Devotion is for you. In the meantime, you can play their previous game, Detention, to tide you over.

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What do you think of the decision to pull the game? Sound off in the comments!