Wed, Jul 17, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Red Candle shelves ‘Devotion’ after boycott over Xi

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Red Candle Games on Monday announced that it would not re-release, revise or otherwise profit from its horror game Devotion (還願) any time soon.

The announcement came more than four months after the Taiwan-based company became embroiled in controversy after gamers discovered an image in the game appearing to mock Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

The image, which led to a boycott of the game in China, was a paper charm with the Chinese characters of Xi’s name and Winnie the Pooh stamped in red ink.

The company on Feb. 26 pulled the game from the online game platform Steam, only seven days after its release.

Devotion was the company’s second release after the success of its debut title, Detention (返校), in 2017. The company was established in 2015.

Calling the controversy an “art asset incident,” the company said on Facebook that it has caused “immeasurable harm” to its partner and the company.

The company offered its “most sincere apologies,” and said that while mediation was still in progress, its six cofounders have unanimously decided against re-releasing the game in any form any time soon.

Many people are beginning to understand that the incident was a “malfunction of project management” instead of a deliberate act, it said.

“If, in the future, the public would be willing to view the game rationally and allow us the opportunity to rebuild trust with our players, Red Candle would reconsider re-releasing Devotion,” it said.

At the core of the game was “the tragedy of a loving family twisted by the frantic belief of a religious cult,” it said.

It made a “critical and unprofessional error,” but revised it within hours, the company said, adding that the image had not been a publicity stunt.

However, in the aftermath of the incident, there was speculation about the motive behind the creation of the game, it said.

“We hope for a second chance in the near future. A chance to prove that both Red Candle and its partner simply wanted to create a great game, and no one wished for such incident to occur,” it said.

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