Chinese Censorship For Taiwanese Horror Game, Devotion, Might Just Be The Beginning

Chinese Censorship For Taiwanese Horror Game, Devotion, Might Just Be The Beginning
Credit: Verociel via YouTube

Taiwanese horror game, Devotion, will no longer be available in mainland China after a hidden insult was spotted by Chinese players. The message, linking Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh, was found in a red seal and written in Chinese characters. In the game, the poster where the Chinese names were located was being used to cast traditional Chinese evil spells. Also written around the poster’s edge were Taiwanese characters that read, “Your mom moron.”

China has been hard in cracking down memes of all sorts linking the Chinese official to the chubby Disney character. Developed by Red Candle Games, Devotion was launched on Steam last February 19, earning great reviews.

Early statistics revealed the game was enjoying 95% positive reviews from the more than 4,000 downloads. But within just seven days after its release, Devotion could no longer be found on the server ending its week-long wild popularity.

Devotion has a proverbial twist to its story mixing Taiwan’s superstitious culture and the anatomy of a good horror game. The game is set in the 1980s Taiwan where an illusory father destroys his family with his constant act evil rituals. The game has been described as a masterful horror and psychologically twisted, even comparing it to the likes of Kojima Production’s, The PT video game.

Its developers sent an apologetic message through Facebook and Steam, stating that the gaming studio sometimes used Internet memes as a makeshift repository for creative ideas. Though the game developers were incessant in saying it was an accident, and there were no intentions for abuse or attack, many Chinese gamers felt differently.

Many are not happy considering that the game is riddled with politically inclined messages including the “Baozi” nickname given to Jinping during his visit to a popular restaurant back in 2013. And the name “Lu Gongming” meaning mainland citizens and linking it to the cult leader in the game. An updated version of the game can still be found on Steam and outside China with the questioned red seal bearing the updated message saying, “Happy New Year.”

Considering the recent turn of events, the Chinese government is working closely with Valve, Steam Game’s developers, to launch an official China-only version of the gaming platform. If the project pushes through, all games being released in the platform will be subject to Chinese censorship.  This even spurs discussions the possibilities of Beijing blocking the whole Steam platform worldwide.