It’s been more than two months since Devotion disappeared from Steam. The highly praised Taiwanese horror game about the horrible secrets inside a family’s apartment had become a legitimate phenomenon on places like Twitch and YouTube, but vanished after being embroiled in a political controversy involving a joke about Chinese President Xi Jinping.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/5979m3/two-months-after-controversy-one-of-2019s-best-games-is-still-unavailable
Super Eyepatch Wolf did a video on Red Candle’s games a couple weeks ago. He doesn’t get into the de-listing of Devotion until the end, most of it is a dive into the origins and themes of the games themselves, if you want to see what all the fuss is about. I grabbed Detention on PS4 after watching this but haven’t fired it up yet.
So I was lucky enough to play Devotion and what a wild ride. I think it took me maybe 3/4 hours and that game goes some places.
I dont know if i’d call it a horror game, though there were one or two outright scary moments for me, it felt a lot more like a really tense narrative game with the odd scary moment. It gave me real Hereditary vibes in the sense that you are surrounded by the trauma of a family.
If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend it. In fact, one of the end sequences is now my desktop wallpaper, something about it really stuck with me and the screenshot worked out pretty well, it’s a gorgeous game
I really hope they get to put this back up soon. I was like a week out from buying it when it got pulled.
Devotion is sooooo good, and it’s sad that it’s still so hard to get a hold of. It’s one of the few truly excellent games to come out in the past year or so. There are more moments in this 3 hour game that are burned into my memory than anything in recent memory other than Sekiro. Everything from the visual motifs to the sound design is just so expertly crafted and impossibly deep. It’s the rare game that has enough going on thematically to support deep dives, but is still accessible and enjoyable on the surface level.
I really hope it comes out on Steam again soon! This game deserves to be played by as many people as possible!
I’m so glad I bought this while I had the chance. There was something chilling about the way sites started covering the “Winnie the Pooh” story almost like it was a joke, only for it to quickly become apparent that something more sinister was going on. As a Westerner it can be hard to appreciate the specifics of how censorship in China works, until something like this happens.
It’s especially poignant considering the type of material Red Candle has worked with in the past. I ended up reading about the White Terror because of Detention, and the thing that really stuck with me is how there’s still so much unknown about that period because of the intentional destruction of government documents. Even simple things like death tolls are contested, because they’re so difficult to verify. I can’t even describe how scary that is to me. Obviously that’s on an entirely different level than what we’re dealing with here, but there are parallels to be drawn.
Super bummed I didn’t have a chance to grab this one, especially after seeing some short videos of just the atmosphere.
This doesn’t look good for the game
I don’t believe this will affect the chances of a re-release. Indievent had already dropped Red Candle during the initial upset; when Devotion reappears it will be independently or with another publisher. Taking away Indievent’s business license is just the Chinese government being vindictive.
Well this is a real bummer. Devotion is a truly excellent game, and it’s sad that many people won’t get a chance to play it.