Red Candle Games quickly became one of the most intriguing horror game developers after releasing both Detention and Devotion to critical acclaim. However, the studio found itself entrapped in controversy after an in-game talisman was found displaying “Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh,” which is a reference to a meme comparing the Chinese politician to the fictional character. Many Chinese gamers and politicians were offended by this. Despite its being removed from the game via a patch, the game was delisted from Steam in China, and its publisher cut ties with Red Candle Games. While the game has since been taken down worldwide, and the studio has no current plans on re-listing it on the store, it will be preserved thanks to the Harvard-Yenching Library.
Founded in 1928, the Harvard-Yenching Library is reportedly the largest East Asian library by an American university. They’re choosing to preserve both Detention and Devotion. Red Candle Games was quite touched by the gesture. “As game designers, never have we thought that our works could one day be added to its prestige collection,” wrote the developer on Facebook. “While we truly appreciate the recognition, we had also taken this opportunity to rethink the possibilities that our games could achieve.”
The Taiwanese developer also gave an update on their status and vowed to continue creating games despite the controversy that Devotion faced. “For the past one year, we are sorry for making our community worried,” said Red Candle Games. “Although the current status might not be ideal, we are still here and that nothing has changed. We are and will always develop games with the same passion … It’s a tough year for many of us, but we will keep going, and hopefully in the future we could share more works with you all.”