After much delay, Taiwanese horror game ‘Devotion’ from dev Red Candle Games is finally going to be available. The intriguing horror title has been through a heck of a ride since its launch on February 21st 2019. Originally launched on Steam, the game gathered favourable reviews before gamers found a reference to the Chinese General Leader Xi Jinping and an internet meme likening him to Winnie the Pooh.
Given the political tensions between China and Taiwan (China refuses to recognise Taiwan as an indepedent state), it led to review bombing on Steam by Chinese users. Red Candle Games apologised and voluntarily removed the offending content. However, this still didn’t smooth over the situation as other game elements were still seen as being anti-China and the game was removed from Steam in China shortly after. Publishers Indievent and Winking Skywalker cut off Red Candle Games and the game was fully removed on Steam by the developer on 25th Feb. Despite support from Taiwan’s Vice Premier, Chen Chi-mai, the game never returned to Steam despite several other apologies from Red Candle games.
Taiwanese horror ‘Devotion’ now available
Those who wanted to play the game had their hopes dashed again in December 2020 when GOG.com announced that the game would be released on their store, only for GOG.com to cancel the release hours later after “receiving many messages from gamers”. This led to some condemnation of GOG.com across social media.
Now though, Red Candle games has made the unusual decision to offer the game via its own website, fully DRM free. Tweeting the announcement, gamers can access the store page on their website and get their hands on the game now. You can also purchase their previous game, Detenion, as well as soundtracks for both games. There was an announcement of a Taiwan physical release in June last year, but there is no sign of that on their store front.
Fair to see it has been a rollercoaster ride for Devotion. Rarely do game releases manage to fall on international fault lines to quite this extent. Still, for the fans (or the merely curious), this is a great opportunity to experience the narrative horror title. Will you be checking out Devotion? What are your thoughts on the whole debacle?
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Rudy Manchego has been gaming since the days of the BBC Micro Computer and spreads himself thin with a love of retro, indie and mainstream gaming. He’s one half of the Jambags Comedy Gaming podcast and likes nothing better than kicking back with a nice pot of lapsang souchong, a good game and a background podcast on the intricacies of Spanish cheese making.