New horror game is under fire from critics To smoke for a politically charged meme. Devotion, the last game of Detention developers Red Candle Games, has apparently drawn the ire of Chinese video game fans. This is due to a bizarre insult to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The meme in question is one that has been around for some time. He compares the Chinese president to the popular Disney character Winnie the Pooh. The president was indeed very sensitive to this joke on the Internet, China going so far as ban films like Christophe robin because the honey-loving bear was used to make fun of him.
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In Devotion, a poster with the words “Xi Jinpeng Winnie the Dumb Pooh” written on it was discovered by gamers. As you might expect, this kind of insult doesn’t go well in China. When the game was originally released, it received high praise and a lot of positive reviews. The game has now been bombarded by several Chinese Steam users, which has reduced the game’s rating to mixed. The act of review bombardment is a malicious practice often used against a developer in order to hurt their sales.
Red Candle Games is understandably rocked by negative attention, and issued a statement on their Steam page regarding offensive material. They were careful to reiterate that the poster had been placed without their knowledge and they only learned of it much later:
“When the art material was created, each teammate was busy working on their own tasks while still chasing the deadline. None of the other colleagues knew about it. It was until we received a private player report on February 21 that we realized what exactly was written on this art material.
They then clarified that the opinions on the poster were not their own and that once discovered, the offending material was immediately replaced. They also announced that they had parted ways with their publisher Indievent And Winking Entertainment on the matter and would take full responsibility for the political blunder. The game was also removed from Steam China’s storefront and refunds are offered to those who purchased the game. To add to the bad news, their Weibo account, which is a popular social media site in China, has also been closed. .
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Red Candle Games also released a follow-up statement, asking the fans for mercy for this error:
“As a games company, the sole purpose of Red Candle Games is to provide an awesome and good gaming experience for all. However, we have failed the anticipation of our players and have offended many others because of This mistake. For this we feel terribly sorry and devastated. Again we would like to reiterate that the serious material art error is made by Red Candle Games. It has nothing to do with any of our partners. Red Candle Games takes full responsibility and bears all condemnation. We sincerely hope this ends with Red Candle, and that please don’t go after all of the innocent partners. “
This is an unfortunate situation for an independent game company. With their publishers breaking up, refunds will have to come from the developers themselves. In addition, Red Candle Games lost a large source of revenue with the removal of its game from Steam China. So the chances of Devotion making a profit right now doesn’t look good for the fledgling business.
Devotion remains available for purchase in the west. Hopefully Red Candle Games is able to recover from this media disaster and keep making more games to terrify their fans.
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