Devotion Initially Receives a Re-Release on GOG Before the Retailer Backs Down
The Taiwanese horror game Devotion--initially pulled from sale last year--was set for a re-release on GOG before the decision was reversed.
Initially released at the beginning of last year, the Taiwanese horror game Devotion from Red Candle Games had a brief shelf life on PC before being pulled in response to controversy. Specifically, shortly after its debut on PC in February 2019, the horror game was pulled from sale due to an in-game reference mocking Chinese president Xi Jinping, which garnered an overwhelmingly negative reaction from Chinese players and prompted its removal on Steam and other digital platforms. While the game was set for a reappearance this week after its extended absence, it appears once again that it will be inaccessible in light of the controversy surrounding it.
Earlier today, developer Red Candle Games had announced that Devotion would be returning for sale on GOG, making it the first time that the game could be purchased on PC since its removal in late February 2019. According to its initial announcement, the game would have released through GOG for $16.99–its original price at launch–with the developer also stating that the game’s content on GOG would be unaltered from its original release.
The content and the price of the re-release remains the same, for $16.99 / €13.99
Thank you for your trust and support. We wish you a happy end of the year pic.twitter.com/peVPd7cyVo
— redcandlegames (@redcandlegames) December 16, 2020
However, within a few hours after the announcement by Red Candle Games, GOG provided a statement that reversed course on the game’s re-release through the PC marketplace. Specifically, GOG explained that “after receiving many messages from gamers” following the announcement, the retailer decided to not list the game for sale.
Earlier today, it was announced that the game Devotion is coming to GOG. After receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store.
— GOG.COM (@GOGcom) December 16, 2020
GOG’s statement on the Devotion re-release was a bit vague, but it’s not hard to imagine that the announcement likely caused a backlash in a similar vein to the game’s original release early last year. However, it is yet another unique example of the challenges that face games and digital distribution, much in the way that fan frustration has surrounded digital games that ended up being inaccessible to audiences like that of P.T. and Konami.
In light of the game itself being inaccessible to players, Red Candle Games recently announced that a TV adaptation of the game is now available on Netflix, and that the studio itself is at work on its next game in development.