Indie developers Red Candle Games have had some serious roller coaster of situations behind their recent and very popular title Devotion. It had first come out of the word works some time ago, and when it was released it was well received, having reached the #1 spot on the Global Top Sellers List on Steam only 3 days after it was released. Clearly, it was destined to become a hit classic with it’s gripping story, terrifying atmosphere, and odd meme. A little shocked at that last one? Don’t be.
Barely a week after its release, Devotion was soon pulled from Steam as within it there was a singular meme that compared China’s leader Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. The meme had both Xi Jinping and then-President Barack Obama next to an image of the classic characters of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Xi Jinping had been tracking down any image that referenced this meme to the point where censorship covered over anything that had the childhood character in it. It was pretty odd. But the game Devotion had a jab at this meme, calling Xi Jinping the “Winnie the Pooh Moron”. And soon after, it was removed.
There hadn’t been any news of whether it came back up onto Steam, as the developers were attempting to remove the image from the game so they could still sell it through publishing companies Indievent and Winking Entertainment. However, due to the controversy with Devotion and the banned meme, the two publishing companies terminated their contract with Red Candle Games and abandoned both PC and Console versions of it.
And before the controversy got any worse, it got worse, and China’s government revoked the business licenses of publishing company Indievent. While it’s never stated it was because of the meme, but allegedly because of Indievent breaking “relevant laws”. There is no other statement besides what was revealed in Iain Garner’s tweet about the situation:
The Chinese publishers of Devotion (the horror game that had anti-Xi artwork in it) have had their business license revoked. pic.twitter.com/LIAJFOmdTF
— Iain Garner – Buy Our Games (@memnoch87) July 1, 2019
Devotion is still currently off the market globally, and because of all of this it is uncertain on whether it will return to Steam and consoles.