Red Candle Games has announced that first-person horror game Devotion is now available to buy DRM-free via its own storefront. This is the first time the game has been available globally since February 2019, when it was delisted from Steam amidst controversy over perceived slights against the Chinese government.
Where can you buy Devotion from now?
This news comes via the official Red Candle Games Twitter account. In the tweet, Red Candle announces that Devotion - along with previous horror title Detention and "our future projects" - will be made available via the new official Red Candle e-shop. There, you can purchase Devotion and Detention DRM-free, along with the soundtracks for both games. At time of writing, Devotion will set you back $16.99, while Detention is going for $11.99. Soundtrack bundles naturally cost a little more. The game hasn't been immediately delisted by anyone, so the situation is looking much more hopeful for Red Candle this time around.
It's been a somewhat rocky couple of years for Devotion. The game originally launched in February 2019, but was quickly removed from Steam after a reference to Winnie the Pooh was discovered as a hidden Easter egg. Winnie the Pooh is commonly seen as a derogatory reference to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and developer Red Candle is Taiwanese, leading to concerns in China that the game was potentially critical of Beijing. The reference was removed, but the controversy remained. A few months later, Devotion publisher Indievent had its business license revoked by Beijing, leaving Red Candle without a publisher for its game.
Some time later, in December 2020, Red Candle Games and GOG announced that Devotion would return via the latter's DRM-free storefront. However, GOG then said it had received "many messages from gamers", leading it to make the decision not to list the game on its store. After these setbacks, Red Candle evidently decided to simply publish the game itself. It'll miss out on the publicity that Steam or GOG would have brought, but after a run of controversy like this, Devotion hardly needs exposure. It's almost certain that this version of the game is the one without the Winnie the Pooh reference, which wasn't an official statement by Red Candle and was the work of a rogue employee rather than a company-wide decision.
Will you check out the new DRM-free release of Devotion? Let us know in the comments below!