Devotion is a first-person psychological horror video game created and developed by Taiwanese game developer Red Candle Games for Steam. The game came out in February this year and sold an insane number of copies in the initial days. However, the game quickly became a topic of controversy when Chinese players discovered a poster inside the game that poked fun at the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
The game was taken off Steam on 26th Feb, 7 days after its initial release. Ever since this controversial episode, the developers and publishing company had kept mum about the whole incident but now Red Candle has finally spoken out what looks like an apology and details regarding the fate of the game.
We are Red Candle Games from Taiwan. To all of our players, industry and media friends, we would like to provide an update on ‘Devotion’.
(1) For the past four months, the art asset incident related to ‘Devotion’ has caused immeasurable harm to Red Candle Games and our partner. We would like to offer our most sincere apology to all impacted teams and personnel. Red Candle and its partner are assuming all responsibilities for the losses; we will not stop in our endeavor to prevent the damage from worsening.
(2) This incident has significantly and adversely impacted all parties. Our partner has been making every effort to assist Red Candle. While mediation is still in progress, Red Candle’s co-founders have reached a unanimous decision to not re-release ‘Devotion’ in the near term, including but not limited to obtaining profit from sales, revision, IP authorization, etc. to prevent unnecessary misconception.
(3) As we reflect on the situation, we notice many players, industry friends, and the media are starting to understand that the incident was indeed a malfunction of project management, not a deliberate act. If, in the future, the public would be willing to view this game rationally and allow us the opportunity to rebuild trust with our players, Red Candle would reconsider re-releasing ‘Devotion’.
As such, we want to apologize to the players for the wait. We are truly sorry, but please understand our decision.
Red Candle is grateful that our partner entrusted us without reservation during the game’s development in the past two years. Regrettably, we failed to meet their expectations and caused them to suffer undue hardship. As the game’s sole developer, Red Candle is inexcusable for this incident. We hope that our partner and related parties may be excused from further criticism.
Since Red Candle Games establishment in 2015, we have dedicated ourselves to craft the best gaming experience for our audience worldwide. In ‘Devotion’, its core message is about “the tragedy of a loving family twisted by the frantic belief of a religious cult.”
We made a critical and unprofessional error during the game’s production. It saddens us that the focus of the game has shifted drastically since the erroneous art asset was found. A revision patch was implemented immediately as we have absolutely no intent to stage a publicity stunt.
However, 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.
Rest assured, Red Candle Games will continue its passion to creativity as a game company.
Thank you for your invaluable support.
Sincerely, Red Candle Games
In short, the devs are adamant that the incident was not in any way intentional and that the artwork in question was left in the game as a mistake. The game will not be rereleased and perhaps in the future when things settle down and fans begin to place their trust in the company once again then the devs might consider a rerelease, however, no time frame has been provided.
What are your thoughts regarding this incident? Do you think the reaction from the gaming community was justified?