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Devotion, a horror game banned from Steam because of Winnie-the-Pooh, is now available again

Devotion was released back in February 2019 but was quickly removed from Steam because of the words "Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh". After a year and a half, the game is now back, but not on Steam.
Taiwanese game developer Red Candle Games is a fairly young company, but they have already left a mark in the industry and especially in the horror genre.

Detention, their first game from 2017, is set in 1960s Taiwan during a period known as the White Terror. It explores disturbing themes, full of tragedy, sadness and dark sides of humanity.

What makes this game a great horror experience is its unsettling atmosphere, unique art style, and blend of traditional oriental mythology with real-world events.

Horror fans were in love with this game, and Red Candle Games received praise from both fans and critics alike.

devotion is back
Devotion (Picture: Red Candle Games)

So there was great excitement when they announced their next game, Devotion, with the developers making a switch from the 2D seen in Detention to a first-person 3D horror game, this time set in 1980's Taiwan.

Unfortunately, the game was removed from Steam just days after its release because players discovered a "fulu" talisman decorating a wall in the game which was inscribed with the words - "Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh".

Xi Jinping is the Chinese paramount leader and general secretary, and there is a popular internet meme that compares him with Winnie the Pooh.

Devotion_Winnie-the-Pooh.png
Controversial fulu talisman (Picture: Red Candle Games)

This was interpreted by Chinese gamers as an insult to the Chinese leader, and the result was that Chinese gamers review bombed the game on Steam.

Red Candle Games quickly removed this controversial material, replacing it with a talisman that reads "Happy New Year," but it was already too late and the game was banned from Steam in China. Soon after it was removed from Steam globally and the game has never returned to this day.

Publishers Indievent and Winking Skywalker cut ties with Red Candle Games, but nonetheless, the Chinese government revoked the license of Indievent later that year.

Devotion game
Devotion (Picture: Red Candle Games)

Truly, a series of unfortunate events, for everyone involved and for players who just wanted to enjoy a good horror game.

A year and a half after the incident, it looks like things are looking rosier for those looking to play Red Candles "banned" horror game, with the company announcing the sale of physical copies with eager gamers able to preorder the game up until 15th June. It is not yet clear if the game will be available globally or just in Taiwan.

It is not much, but it is something. We hope that the game will come back to Steam soon as well, as we are sure that there are many players who can't wait to play this game.