Red Candle Games, developer of the hit indie horror game that was pulled from Steam called Devotion, published an update today on the status of its game. It sounds like, in the near future, there still won't be a way to play it.
An update posted to Red Candle's social media this morning went over what's been happening in the months since Devotion was removed from digital storefronts. It says the art asset incident has caused "immeasurable harm" to both Red Candle Games and its partner, and offer a sincere apology to those impacted by it. It also says that while mediation is in progress, Red Candle's co-founders have reached a unanimous decision not to re-release Devotion in the near-term.
Red Candle Games does say that "many players, industry friends, and the media" are noting the incident as a malfunction rather than a deliberate act, and that if the public were "willing to view this game rationally and allow us the opportunity to rebuild trust with your players," the developer might consider a re-release of Devotion.
Devotion was removed from Steam and digital platforms in February, after a hidden reference to China's president Xi Jingping and the character Winnie the Pooh was discovered, a joke that's often censored in China. After a review-bombing took place, Devotion was pulled from Steam, with the developer apologizing for the "Art Material Incident" and seemingly hopeful about the game's return. Now, it seems like that won't happen.
"We made a critical and unprofessional error during the game's production," wrote Red Candle Games today. "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."
It's a shame, as Devotion is a spectacular game. It's from the developers of Detention, another game that utilizes heritage and history to tell a striking story, and it's among our best games of 2019 so far. Little of that seems to matter, however. One jest, seemingly included by accident, is enough to take the game off Steam and remove it from new players for the foreseeable future. It's sad to watch happen, and I hope Red Candle Games finds a way to get this back on storefronts sooner rather than later.