Taiwanese-developer Red Candle Games seems to have overcome their last hurdle to finally re-release their critically acclaimed 2019 horror game, Devotion. Overnight, Red Candle took to Twitter to announce that they’d be releasing the game DRM-free immediately on their own shop.
The announcement made clear that Red Candle’s “future projects” will similarly be made available in this way. This decision is likely due in large part to the uphill battle the studio has been fighting to get Devotion on digital storefronts ever since it was initially released.
Devotion released on Feb. 19, 2019 to strong reviews, but was pulled from Steam within a week due to controversy over an art asset mistakenly left in the game. The art referred to Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, as Winnie the Pooh. Within days of release, it was found and the game was review-bombed on Steam. Soon after, the game left the only storefront it was on, and the developers seemed to vanish with it.
Months later, the studio reemerged and updated their audience on Devotion and the fallout of what they dubbed the “art asset incident.” The “incident” proved disastrous, severing the studio’s ties to publishers and damaging their relationship with audiences close to home. At the time, Red Candle said that they would not re-release Devotion in the “near-term” and would reconsider if “the public would be willing to view this game rationally.” It seems like the time has come for us to view it rationally.
The time was almost here months ago when, in December, Red Candle announced that GOG would sell the game. Within a day of this announcement, hours really, GOG seemed to bow to pressure from “gamers,” and pulled the game before it could even be listed.
Finally, more than two years later, Red Candle seems to have figured out a way to sell Devotion independently. Additionally, I can finally play the game myself instead of watching that Let’s Play I settled for months ago. So, really, there are two things to celebrate here.