Taiwanese video game developer Red Candle Games (赤燭遊戲) yesterday announced the launch of its own e-store to sell its games, including a horror game that has previously been dropped by a digital game distribution platform amid a boycott threat by Chinese Internet users.
The Taipei-based company announced on social media the opening of its e-store (shop.redcandlegames.com/en-US) where its two games — Detention (返校) and Devotion (還願) — are available for purchase in DRM-free format.
In the DRM-free format, a player can move the game folder and launch the game without Internet connection or third-party software.
Photo courtesy of Red Candle Games
“We hope to provide a direct and simple purchase channel for players who are interested in our games,” Red Candle said.
The launch came three months after Polish-based GOG.com walked back an earlier decision to sell Devotion on its store, following boycott threats from Chinese gamers due to hidden content in the game that mocks Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).
Devotion was originally released on Steam, another digital game distribution platform, in February 2019 to widespread praise for its setting — an abandoned apartment complex in 1980s Taiwan that created a psychological horror adventure.
However, some players discovered a Taoist talisman decorating a wall in the game containing the words “Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh” in Chinese characters — a reference to an Internet meme that compares the Chinese leader to the popular cartoon character.
Also on the talisman were the characters nemabaqi (呢嘛叭唭), a phrase that has the same pronunciation as “Your mother is a moron” in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese).
Following the discovery, Devotion was quickly delisted from Steam, and the game’s Chinese publisher, Indievent, distanced itself from Red Candle Games.
Red Candle issued an apology at the time, explaining the reference as being caused by “technical issues” and promising that its team would ensure no other “unintended materials” were inserted into the game so that it could soon return to the platform.
Devotion was never re-released on Steam. Two years after Devotion was removed from Steam, GOG.com announced that the game would go on sale on its platform starting on Dec. 18 last year.
However, amid threats of boycotts from Chinese players, GOG.com retracted the announcement just six hours after its publication.
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