UPDATE 10th of July 2019: Khee Hoon, a Chinese journalist, has tweeted that the Chinese government was actually “Very Specific” about why they revoked Indievent’s business license.
The reason why it's revoked was definitely, 100% because of Devotion. I thought this distinction should be very clear because I saw several websites saying that it's a bit ambiguous, but I guess the Chinese govt is making it clear that you can't mess with them
— "K?h?e?e? ?H?o?o?n?" ?C?h?a?n? (@crapstacular) July 10, 2019
Khee Hoon says that the reason for Indievent’s shutdown was “definitely, 100% because of Devotion.”
They also say that Indievent apparently chose not to contest the shutdown, essentially accepting its fate.
Devotion, a Taiwanese first-person horror game, was pulled from Steam in February this year. The removal came after art was found in-game that mocked Chinese president Xi Jinping by depicting him as Winnie the Pooh.
Despite an apology from the game’s developer, Red Candle Games, Devotion never returned for sale. It now turns out that, according to an article from PCGamesN and a tweet from Iain Garner, the company who published Devotion, Indievent, has been shut down by the Chinese government.
Iain Garner, co-founder of publisher Another Indie, tweeted the following:
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 AKA Night Monkey (@memnoch87) July 1, 2019
Garner told PCGamesN that he was ‘briefed on the news’ by his Chinese colleagues. He also said that the announcement makes no reference to what happened with Devotion and that Indievent broke ‘relevant’ laws.
It’s unlikely that Devotion will return to Steam, especially after both Indievent and Winking Entertainment (the game’s other major partner) cut ties with Red Candle Games in wake of the Steam incident.
China are notorious for censorship of games, including the bizarre censorship of Winnie the Pooh in Kingdom Hearts 3 by simply covering him with a white light, burning every copy of The Sassoon Files RPG, and banning blood, imperial history, and Mahjong from videogames.