GOG, the games marketplace owned by Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red, has landed itself in some hot moral water. The site was going to be the one online marketplace where users could download Devotion, a Taiwanese horror game. However, GOG performed the quickest U-turn of all time and announced in a tweet that it would not be selling Devotion after all.
The tweet in question is interesting to say the least. In it, GOG cites “many messages from gamers” it received as a reason for not having Devotion available. But who are these ‘gamers’ and what could their beef be with the game? Just from looking at it, you would think that Devotion is just another horror game, meant to keep players up at night. The history behind this title could potentially shed some light on the reason behind GOG’s decision.
DRM-free but not CCP-free
Devotion‘s story begins with its release last year. The horror indie title from Taiwanese developers Red Candle was pulled from Steam soon after its launch. Prior to this removal, it was discovered that some insults directed towards China’s President Xi Jinping were in the game. They called the CCP leader a ‘moron’ and compared him to the story-book character Winnie the Pooh, a common comparison used to degrade Jinping.
The commentary on Jinping was removed from Devotion, but the game was still review bombed by Chinese users on Steam and soon after removed from the platform entirely by Red Candle. However, issues for the game and any company with ties to it didn’t end there. Its Chinese publisher Indievent had its business license revoked, and its Taiwanese publisher just dropped it outright.
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
The reasoning for GOG’s quick decision to not have Devotion on its marketplace is still unclear. While there may be a cadre of ‘gamers’ out there that don’t want a title with a history of bashing the Chinese president present on any storefront, the game’s history may also play a part.