CD Projekt have found themselves accused of some very un-punk activity today, as online marketplace GOG.com decided against listing horror game Devotion. This came just hours after the announcement that the title would become available on the storefront.
GOG.com is owned by CD Projekt, who just released the long-awaited Cyberpunk 2077. The website's Twitter account claims the decision to not list the game came after receiving "many messages from gamers", but did not divulge what these apparent messages said.
Earlier today, it was announced that the game Devotion is coming to GOG. After receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store.
— GOG.COM (@GOGcom) December 16, 2020
Many in the replies to the statement doubt the official response, instead alleging that the decision was made due to fears Devotion would cause offence to the Chinese Government. This is because Devotion features a poster which references the popular meme claiming Xi Jinping resembles Winnie the Pooh. The game also features both his and Winnie's name next to the word "moron".
Since the game has previously caused controversy for this reference, it is believed by many that this is the real reason the title will not be appearing on GOG.com.
The initial wave of controversy happened back in February 2019, this time on Steam. The developers decided to pull the game from Steam after the game was review-bombed by Chinese users, as first documented by Spiel Times. Prior to this, it had mostly positive user reviews. At the time, developers Red Candle Games apologized for the inclusion, claiming it was an act of one employee that the rest of the team failed to notice.
Red Candle Game's other title, Detention remains available on Steam, as does the soundtrack of Devotion.
Both GOG.com and Red Candle Games have been contacted for comment.
Food For Thought
True enough, gamers are likely to kick up a fuss if a game they don't politically agree with gets platformed, but it's unlikely that the contents of Devotion would cause any issues with the majority of that crowd. If you look back at the controversy caused last year, it seems the disagreement came exclusively from Chinese accounts. Given the Chinese Government's previous (alleged) influences on the gaming industry, it's possible that these comments were not left by actual gamers. And in the case of the the "messages" GOG.com claimed to have received from gamers, it's possible these don't actually exist.