Red Candle - the creators of Devotion, which is a Taiwanese horror game on Stream - experienced their own horror story in February, right after the game releases. The game appeared to have a great start with consistently positive reviews from players and good sales. Everything went well until players found an in-game artwork that said to offend the Chinese president Xi Jinping. This artwork is a reference for the popular meme Xi Jinping Winnie-the-Pooh.

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Devotion could have been a very successful horror game

Although the maker of Devotion stated that it was just an internet slang used as a placeholder and was accidentally left in the final product, it didn’t stop the rage and negative criticism from the players, especially Chinese ones. Only several days later, the creators had to take the game down from Stream, and up to now, it is nowhere to be found.

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The controversial artwork that link to the Xi Jinping Winnie-the-Pooh meme

The artwork in the game, a poster of a cursed talisman on the wall, said that “Xi Jinping Winnie-the-Pooh moron.” This unexpected Easter egg hidden in the game is a popular meme in the online community, mocking Chinese President Xi Jinping, which got a severe response, up to the point that Christopher Robin film was banned last year in China. A few Devotion’s players even came up with a theory that Red Candle, the development team of Devotion, was secretly including political views and that the narrative of the game was anti-Chinese, citing the intense history between Taiwan and China as the reason for such insult.

Even movie about Winnie-the-Pooh is banned in China

In response to those allegations, Devotion’s creators refused to have any dark motion behind that artwork in the game. Red Candle claimed that it was just one man’s mistake for accidentally forgetting to remove that piece of art in the game. Red Candle also claimed that it was not Devotion's goal to “secretly project extensive ideology, nor is it to attack any person in the real world.” But the fact that this is a Taiwanese game developer makes things harder for Chinese gamers to believe those words.

Eventually, this horror game was removed from Stream for “technical issues that cause unexpected crashes", and the developers also said to check the game for any unexpected art carefully left to “ease the heightened pressure in our community resulted from our previous Art Material Incident.” Those concerns seemed to be solvable, right? Like Devotion would be back to the shop in no time.

When Devotion was removed from Steam in February, we all believed it will come back

However, three months passed by and we are yet to see any sign of Devotion on Stream’s page. The forum of the game on Stream is still online and full of threads questioning about its coming back, ways to get the game now and debate over Chinese politics, of course. Bad news for the fans of Devotion, there are no good answers from Red Candle for them.

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For a horror game with great content like this, a lot of gamers want to have a chance to grab a copy of Devotion

The previous game of Red Candle, named Detention, is still available. Generally, the review score of Devotion has come back to “mostly positive” after some review bombs at the beginning.