Red Candle Games’ Devotion Is Likely Never Going To Be On Steam After Joke About China’s President

Red Candle Games’ Devotion Is Likely Never Going To Be On Steam After Joke About China’s President
Credit: Nokzen via YouTube

The Taiwanese developers at Red Candle Games released an official statement explaining their indie horror game, Devotion, will likely never be rereleased on the Steam store.

The horror game was quickly taken down after its initial release, which was around four months ago, because the title included content that took a jab at Chinese President Xi Jinping. The game included an in-game poster of Xi depicted as Winnie the Pooh with text that read, “Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh Moron.” China and Taiwan have been at odds with one another for the better part of a century, so the poster is not entirely surprising.

Needless to say, Chinese gamers noticed the in-game poster and did not find it funny. Dozens, if not hundreds, of reviews were posted against the game by Chinese players. Winnie the Pooh is, for all intents and purposes, is illegal in China—mainly because Winnie the Pooh is often used to lambast the country’s president.

Both publishers for the game quickly cut ties with Red Candle Games, including its Taiwanese Publisher, Winking Entertainment. Shortly after, Devotion was pulled from the Steam marketplace. It hasn’t returned. After today’s apology, it seems it won’t be making a return either.

In their public statement, Red Candle Games apologized for the inappropriate poster. They claimed the joke was a “malfunction of management” only. They also that if one day players would “view the game rationally,” then Red Candle Games would republish it. But the Chinese government will probably not be able to look upon the game favorably anytime soon.

China does not officially recognize the existence of the Taiwanese government. After the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949, the Republic of China fled to its last remaining territory on the island of Taiwan. It has remained there ever since, which is why China refuses to recognize it to this day.

Beyond its spat with Taiwan, the Chinese government continues to maintain and enforce stringent rules regarding any game published within its borders. Every game must be approved by the government in Beijing to be allowed within the country. For games with age restrictions, the Chinese government requires many players to register to be able to play. And some games have to be redesigned entirely before they are finally allowed to be published.

With all of the rules in place and the personal embarrassment caused to China’s President Xi, Devotion will probably not be rereleased any time in the near future.