Wed, Feb 27, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Local game developer pulls ‘Devotion’ from Steam amid boycott by Chinese

Staff writer, with CNA

Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai, second left, plays Devotion in a Facebook live broadcast on Monday.

Photo: Lo Tzu-hsin, Taipei Times

A Taiwan-developed horror computer game being boycotted by Chinese netizens over an image mocking Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) was removed from global digital distribution platform Steam on Tuesday, just seven days after its release.

The game’s Taiwanese developer, Red Candle Games, said on Facebook that it pulled Devotion (還願) from Steam because of technical problems and alluded to the boycott caused by the artwork that angered Chinese users.

“Due to technical issues that cause unexpected crashes and among other reasons, we are pulling Devotion off from steam store to have another complete QA [quality assurance] check,” the company said in an English-language statement.

“At the same time we’d like to take this opportunity to ease the heightened pressure in our community resulted from our previous Art Material Incident,” Red Candle Games said. “Our team would also review our game material once again making sure no other unintended materials was inserted in.”

“Hopefully this would help all audience to focus on the game itself again upon its return,” it said.

The horror puzzle game was released on Tuesday last week, but soon faced a boycott by Chinese users, creating a controversy that has been played up in local media.

Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) defended the game and criticized China’s censorship and control over the media.

“Only in countries with democracy and freedom can creation be free from restrictions,” Chen said.

A screenshot on a Chinese microblogging site of a charm amulet hanging on the wall of a room in the game angered Chinese netizens after it was noticed that the names of Xi and Winnie-the-Pooh were written on the amulet in red.

The reference was unrelated to any aspect of the game.

Winnie-the-Pooh has been used to mock Xi since a picture of the Chinese leader walking with then-US president Barack Obama in 2013 spurred comparisons to Winnie-the-Pooh walking with Tigger.

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