Devotion review bombed by Chinese Steam users over Winnie the Pooh meme

Taiwanese horror game Devotion is excellent, judging by James's write-up—but the game has been review bombed on Steam over a meme that compares Chinese president Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.

According to Spiel Times (via Eurogamer), a piece of paper in the game references Xi Jinping, Winnie the Pooh and the word "moron". The comparison has often been used to mock the Chinese president, and the country banned a new Winnie the Pooh film last year because of it.

Credit: Youtuber Kuoki

Developer Red Candle Games posted an apology on Steam. Roughly translated, it says the team used placeholder text in certain parts of the game during the prototype stage. This piece of paper was one such example and, unfortunately, wasn't changed for the final product. 

The team has removed the reference from the game, but not before Steam reviews plunged from overwhelmingly positive to mostly negative. As of writing, 60% of the reviews are negative

Detention, Red Candle's other horror game, is also being review bombed: nearly 2,000 negative reviews have been posted on its Steam page in the past 24 hours. 

Some players have pointed out that the game contains more commentary on China than just the Winnie the Pooh comparison. A comment on the Spiel Times article says that the paper is "dark magic spell paper", and is "the Chinese equivalent of having a stabbed voodoo doll". 

ResetEra user SushiReese tried to sum up some of the user ire, claiming that the name of the game's cult leader references the people of China, and that a cult festival in the game runs for the same dates as a national festival in China.

Samuel Horti

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play.