17TH DEC 2020: Red Candle Games has issued a statement in response to CD Projekt's decision not to release Devotion on GOG.com.
In a tweet, the developer said "we are willing to understand and respect GOG's decision", adding: "This is a difficult predicament to overcome, but we won't stop striving."
ORIGINAL STORY 16TH DEC 2020: CD Projekt has come under fire for reversing the decision to release horror game Devotion on GOG.com.
Devotion's developer, Red Candle Games, tweeted earlier today to announce its game would come out on GOG on 18th December, with a link to a store page that has now been pulled.
Hello friends, we want to share with you? Red Candle will publish #??Devotion on Dec 18 on GOG.https://t.co/dlC6qzBiHx— redcandlegames (@redcandlegames) December 16, 2020
The content and the price of the re-release remains the same, for .99 / ?13.99
Thank you for your trust and support. We wish you a happy end of the year pic.twitter.com/peVPd7cyVo
Devotion is considered one of the finest horror games of the past decade, but it has proved a controversial one. Following its release in the spring of 2019, Devotion was found to contain an unflattering reference to China's president, Xi Jinping. The discovery sparked an outcry among Chinese players, leading to the withdrawal of Chinese distributors, the closure of Red Candle's account on Weibo, one of China's largest social media platforms, and the removal of the game from Steam in China.
Red Candle, which is based in Taiwan, has apologised at length for what it says was a placeholder asset, accidentally transferred to the final release. These comments were not enough to stem the backlash, however, and a week after sale, the developer pulled the game from Steam in all territories to perform unspecified fixes. It never returned.
In its tweet announcing the dramatic change of heart, GOG said: "After receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store."
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
Eurogamer has asked GOG for an explanation. We've also asked Red Candle for a statement.
Already, CD Projekt is suffering a backlash to the move, with many suggesting the company is trying desperately to avoid outrage in China.
There is no way you're not putting it on the store because of the opinion of gamers. They can just choose not to buy that game. Who cares if a game they don't want to play is simply on the platform?— Mah-Dry-Bread - Medraut Stowe (@MahDryBread) December 16, 2020
You just don't want the platform pulled from China.
CDPR: releases a game about fighting government and corporate oppression— Shaun Wall (@Nomaki) December 16, 2020
Also CDPR: pulls a game from GOG within hours of announcing after receiving pressure from "gamers", which is 100% covering for "we don't want to lose the Chinese market so we're bowing to censorship" https://t.co/3Te6DlVW1h
It's the latest controversial decision from CD Projekt, which has already seen the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 prove to be one of the most controversial blockbuster releases of all time.