Red Candle launches an e-store to sell its games

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Taiwanese video game developer Red Candle Games (赤 燭 遊戲) announced yesterday that it is launching its own online store to sell its games, including a horror game that has already been discontinued by a distribution platform from digital games amid threat of boycott by Chinese internet users.

The Taipei-based company announced on social media the opening of its online store (shop.redcandlegames.com/en-US) where its two games – Detention (返校) and Devotion (還願) – are available at l purchase in DRM- free format.

In the DRM-free format, a player can move the game folder and launch the game without an internet connection or third-party software.

Photo courtesy of Red Candle Games

“We hope to provide a direct and easy purchasing channel for players interested in our games,” said Red Candle.

The launch came three months after Poland-based GOG.com reversed an earlier decision to sell Devotion on its store, following threats to boycott Chinese gamers over hidden in-game content that mocks the president. Chinese Xi Jinping (習近平).

Devotion was originally released to Steam, another digital game distribution platform, in February 2019 to praise its setting – an abandoned apartment complex in 1980s Taiwan that created an adventure of psychological horror.

However, some players have discovered a Taoist talisman decorating a wall in the game that contains the words “Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh” in Chinese characters – a reference to an internet meme that compares the Chinese leader to the popular cartoon character.

The talisman also featured the characters nemabaqi (呢 嘛 叭 唭), a phrase that has the same pronunciation as “Your mother is a jerk” in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese).

Following the discovery, Devotion was quickly delisted from Steam, and the game’s Chinese publisher Indievent distanced itself from Red Candle Games.

Red Candle apologized at the time, explaining that the reference was caused by “technical issues” and promising that his team would ensure that no other “unintentional material” was inserted into the game so that it may soon return to the platform.

Devotion has never been re-released on Steam. Two years after Devotion’s withdrawal from Steam, GOG.com announced that the game will go on sale on its platform starting December 18 of last year.

However, amid threats to boycott Chinese players, GOG.com withdrew the ad just six hours after it was posted.

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