Red Candle Games, the developer of the Taiwanese game Devotion, issued a statement on Sunday apologizing for references within the game seen as mocking Chinese President Xi Jinping which have led to a boycott of the game in China.

One scene of the horror adventure game showed an ancient Taoist scribble on a wall containing the Chinese characters “Xi Jinping, Little Bear Winnie” (the Chinese name of Winnie the Pooh). Another scene contains references to “baozi,” a reference to the nickname “Steamed Bun Xi” which has been censored in China in the past.

“This is not the position of Red Candle and this is not the intention of Devotion,” Red Candle said in a statement on its Facebook page. “We are deeply sorry for hurting everybody.”


Credit: Screenshot

The ancient Taoist scribble containing the offending Chinese characters.

In its statement, Red Candle said that one member of the development team wrote the content without others noticing it. The games company said Devotion has been removed from the China region of the digital games distribution platform Steam and said players who paid for the game will be refunded.

Taiwan deputy premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) offered his support for Devotion, praising Taiwan’s creative freedom and its games industry on Sunday.

“Only in countries with democracy and freedom can creation be free from restrictions,” said Chen.

“The game represents the creativity of many young people,” he said. “I will play it when I have time.”

Chinese-language media outlet New Talk reported yesterday sales of Devotion have remained strong, despite the controversy and resulting boycott in China.

Spiel Times reported over the weekend that Devotion has held the #1 position on Steam’s Top Selling chart, sporting a rating of “Overwhelmingly Positive.”

Other news from Taiwan:

► Lee Chin-yung (李進勇), a former Yunlin County magistrate, has been nominated to lead Taiwan’s embattled Central Election Commission. (CNA)

► Over 60 civic groups marched in downtown Taipei on Sunday to commemorate the upcoming 72nd anniversary of the 228 Incident. (Taipei Times)

► The head of the Memorial Foundation of 228 said on Sunday an updated version of an investigative report on the brutal crackdown will be released in July. (CNA)

► Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) left for Israel on Saturday to attend the 33rd annual International Mayors Conference, where he plans to meet national security and technology experts. (Taipei Times)

► Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) departed on Sunday for his own overseas trip to Malaysia and Singapore. Han plans to tout Kaohsiung’s agricultural and tourism industries. (CNA)

► Eric Chu (朱立倫), a 2020 Kuomintang (KMT) presidential hopeful and former mayor of New Taipei City, returned to Taiwan on Sunday after an eight-day visit to the United States. (CNA)

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Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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