Less than a week ago, the developers of P.T.horror game Devotion went up high. The release of their game on February 19th was greeted by thousands of positive reviews from Steam and by hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch. However, after a weekend of controversy, Devotion met an end even more untimely than the game that inspired him.
It all began late last week when Chinese gambling gamers developed in Taiwan stumbled upon a work of art that seemed to belittle Chinese President Xi Jinping, mentioning him and Winnie the Pooh on a roll next to the word "moron". "Winnie the Pooh has often been used in memes to make fun of Jinping, to the point that the film last year Christopher Robin has been banned in China. Some players have dug further Devotion, claiming that the game was an allegory that not only demonized Jinping, but the whole of the Chinese mainland (Taiwan, though viewed as an extension of China by China and most of the most powerful nations in the world, has its own elected government and its identity, leading to tensions between mainland China and Taiwan).
Control bombs followed these allegations, leaving Devotion with a score of 40% positive reviews on Steam. People also created false statements attributed to developer Red Candle Games, who tried to clarify the situation three times. First, on Friday, it was said in a Steam post that the reference to Winnie the Pooh was accidental.
"When making the prototype, the team often mentioned the Internet slang known at the time as a placeholder," wrote the developer. "However, because of the version synchronization problem, not all placeholders have been deleted properly. It is purely an accident and we have no intention of causing harm or hatred. The artistic material was removed and replaced on the evening of February 21. "
In an article the next day, Red Candle also explained that a developer had created the artistic good and that the rest of the team was "busy working on its own tasks while meeting deadlines," which explains why Winnie the Pooh came into the game in the first place. The developer added that "the words written on the artistic material do not represent the position of Red Candle Games, and have no relation with DevotionThe story and the theme. Red Candle went on to note that his partnership with DevotionThe publisher of the publisher had been "terminated" because of the controversy, leaving the developer to "compensate for the corresponding loss on the basis of the contract".
These explanations, however, did not allay the anger that persecuted Devotion in the dark, creaking rooms of Steam. Today, the company released another statement reminding fans of "not being misled by other incorrect information" from people claiming to be speaking on behalf of the game and claiming that Devotion It is not to "secretly project an extensive ideology, nor to attack a person in the real world". It's rather a game about a cult that hurts, a cult on behalf of "pure parental love." Red Candle also acknowledged that his page on Weibo, an extremely popular Chinese social media site, has been closed, compromising the developer's ability to communicate what's going on.
Earlier this afternoon, DevotionThe Steam Store page is gone, making the game impossible to buy. Devotionrelated content also appears to have been removed from the Red Candle YouTube channel. Kotaku Reached out to Red Candle and Valve for an explanation, but still had no answer from the other. In a statement on DevotionThe Steam forums, however, the developer attributed the removal of Steam to "technical problems causing unexpected crashes" and a willingness "to alleviate the increased pressure in our community resulting from our previous hardware incident. # Art; "reviewing" our gaming equipment by ensuring that no other unforeseen equipment has been inserted.
For now, the previous game of Red Candle, Detention, stay in place. It has been bombed to the point that it has only 30% positive ratings.