Hours after announced that it would bring the controversial horror game Devotion to its platform, CD Projekt Red’s digital storefront GOG has reneged on its release plans. The company’s social media account claims that “after receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store.”
Devotion has been at the center of censorship controversy since its release last year after players stumbled upon in-game content that called Xi Jinping, China’s president, a “Winnie-the-Pooh moron.” The Chinese leader is notoriously sensitive to the cartoon bear, to which members have continuously compared him; Christopher Robin films did not get a Chinese release. The mention of comedian John Oliver immediately censored on social media after a segment mentioning the Winnie the Pooh comparison. Players bombed the game, and the developers pulled it from Steam not long after.
At the time, the Taiwan Red Candle Games developer issued several apologies, first claiming that they withdrew the game due to a QA check and the inclusion of art was a mistake. The developer then addressed the art in question in more detail. “We failed our players’ anticipation and offended many others due to the said mistake,” wrote Red Candle Games on Steam. “For that, we feel awfully sorry and devastated … Red Candle Games take full responsibility and bear all the condemns. We sincerely hope that this end with Red Candle, and that please do not take it out on all the innocent partners.”
In the months following, Devotion struggled to find a new home. Red Candle Games wrote in a statement that “in the aftermath of the incident, some still possess different speculations about Devotion. As regretful as the incident was, we have to bear its full consequence. We hope for a second chance in the near future. A chance to prove that, both Red Candle and its partner simply wanted to create a great game and no one wished for such incident to occur.”
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It’s been a busy news cycle for CD Projekt Red — better known for its developer than its PC storefront — over the past week. Cyberpunk 2077’s highly anticipated studio release has been troubled with technical issues and refund requests. Meanwhile, GOG is notorious for posting insensitive material on social media, in line with CD Projekt Red’s habit of attracting an edgy fan base.
Red Candle Games’ announcement that Devotion would find a home in GOG, however, short-lived. We have contacted GOG for comment and will update accordingly.