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The Chinese government has revoked the business license of Indievent, the Chinese publisher of Red Candle Games’ horror game Devotion, though the game and the controversy surrounding it aren’t explicitly said to be responsible for the action.
The news was shared by Another Indie co-founder Iain Garner on Twitter, and he explains to PCGamesN that the official reason given for revoking Indievent’s business license is violating “relevant” laws.
Devotion launched in early 2019, but was pulled from Steam shortly after at the behest of its developers after Steam users started flooding its page with negative reviews in response to an in-game asset that mocked Chinese president Xi Jinping. Red Candle Games released multiple statements, saying that the in-game poster in question was placeholder art and had been quickly replaced, but those efforts unfortunately did little to calm the storm.
Indievent, along with co-publisher Winking Skywalker, terminated its relationship with Red Candle Games. Devotion has yet to be relisted on Steam, and its developers have remained largely silent on social media since its launch.
Garner also tells PCGamesN this latest development has worrying implications for the Taiwanese game industry, which sees much of its funding from China and has local developers and publishers worried for the future.
The Chinese publishers of Devotion (the horror game that had anti-Xi artwork in it) have had their business license revoked. pic.twitter.com/LIAJFOmdTF— Iain Garner - Buy Our Games (@memnoch87) July 1, 2019