CD Projekt Red has caused much controversy this week with the release of a glitchy Cyberpunk 2077 and a botched attempt to offer refunds for that game. Now, they are causing even more controversy by refusing to release Devotion on their sister platform GOG.
Fans wanting to play the game were excited when developer Red Candle Games tweeted early this morning that Devotion would be coming to GOG on December 18, complete with a (now dead) link to download the game.
This was not going to be the first release of this critically-acclaimed horror game. It actually came out in Spring 2019, but players soon discovered that it contained a negative reference to Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Chinese players reacted very negatively, and Chinese distributors stopped selling the title. The game was also removed from Steam in China, and the Taiwan-based Red Candle Games had their account pulled from Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform.
The developer apologized for what they called a placeholder asset, insisting that no insult was intended. But these apologies were not enough, and the game was eventually removed from Steam in all territories to allegedly make fixes to the title. However, it would never be sold again.
It was going to be a big deal if GOG re-released this sought-after title. But five hours after their original tweet announcing the sale of the game, GOG reversed their decision in another tweet.
GOG claimed the decision not to sell the game was due to “receiving many messages from gamers.” However, some suspect that CD Projekt Red made this decision to avoid offending China. And some players have noted the irony that the makers of Cyberpunk 2077 (a game about fighting an oppressive government) are apparently bowing to Chinese pressure and censorship.