Devotion, the first-person horror game from Taiwanese developers Red Candle Games, was recently added to the Harvard-Yenching Library archives. This makes Harvard University the only place to play a legitimate copy of Devotion since it was removed from Steam a year ago after the discovery of an image mocking China’s leader.
Earlier this week, Red Candle Games shared that the Harvard-Yenching Library now features playable copies of both Devotion and Detention. The library also houses over 1.5 million volumes of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, Manchu, and Mongolian texts, making it the largest university library for East Asian research outside of Asia.
“It is an incredible honour which belongs to not only Red Candle but also our supporters and players worldwide,” Red Candle Games’ announcement reads. “As game designers, never have we thought that our works could one day be added to its prestige collection. While we truly appreciate the recognition, we had also taken this opportunity to rethink the possibilities that our games could achieve.”
Shortly after Devotion’s release on February 19, 2019, Chinese players discovered that it included an image that seemingly called Chinese president Xi Jinping a moron and compared him to Winnie the Pooh, who is frequently used online to mock the politician’s appearance. Although Red Candle Games maintained that it was just a placeholder that accidentally made its way into the final release, this didn’t stop Devotion from being review bombed on Steam by Chinese users. Less than a week later, the game’s store page was gone and the studio even went as far as to remove several videos from its official YouTube channel.
Red Candle Games provided a short statement to Kotaku in May 2019 explaining the situation, saying that the future of Devotion was still “uncertain.” In June 2019, the studio finally announced that it had no plans to rerelease Devotion. While the game still appears on the official Red Candle Games website, much of the developer’s online presence since then has been devoted to ports and a film adaptation of its previous game, Detention.
Devotion is clearly an important piece of video game history. Red Candle Games may have been forced to move forward, but at the very least, the studio can rest easy knowing its legacy will continue to live on at Harvard-Yenching.
“For the past one year, we are sorry for making our community worried,” Red Candles Games’ statement concludes. “It’s a tough year for many of us, but we will keep going, and hopefully in the future we could share more works with you all.”