You do realize that social media in China is heavily controlled, right? There are as many as 300,000 people paid to post pro-government comments and content. It's estimated that there are 500,000,000 comments being made per year on that basis. There's also grassroots jingoism that is somewhat autonomous, so the controversy might have started this way. I tried to write about it in more detail in an earlier comment
but the gist of it is that Internet opinions there have zero correlation to what "real" people actually think. It's just a tool to establish the illusion of consent.
Oh come on those are just your assumptions. Yeah I admit I make assumption too; which is IMO it is highly unlikely the message come from any people who have no interest in videogames at all.
What are my assumptions? That there is Internet censorship in China? That Internet comments in China are just a pretense of having a discussion? What are you disagreeing with specifically?
There are a lot of actual gamers in China who seem to have liked the game. After all, it's one of the few such games to depict Chinese culture, and doing so accurately. (There's also the supreme irony that a work of art promoting Chinese culture is being cancelled due to protests originating from China, of all places.)
But there's no exact number ratio on how many liked the game or despise the game because of the hidden easter eggs right? Nobody went to china and ask the gamers there one by one what they think about the game.
There are overwhelmingly positive comments about the game from actual Chinese gamers in many places, for example on Steam: https://steamcommunity.com/app/1006510/discussions/0
Nothing stops you from going there to check it on your own. The whole controversy was blown out of proportion for political reasons.
The Devotion situation isn't purely a freedom-of-speech issue. Freedom of speech is a public-law concept (describing relations between an individual and the government). Relations between companies and individuals are regulated by private law. A company doesn't have an obligation to uphold freedom of speech on a private platform.
Simply put, you have the right to say what you want but it doesn't imply that anybody has the obligation to listen, or to help you spread your message. (There is a good case that dominant Internet platforms should not be allowed to use this defense but no legal requirement as of now.)
But this example isn't even remotely similar. There is no objectionable content in the game, and it's considered to be high-quality, so there is no reasonable case against listing it.
You're missing the most important point : GOG are not obliged to list the game in any way, it's their store, and it's their right to refuse to sell a game whatever the reason is
In fact I just wrote exactly the same, in different words (I marked now it in the original quote).
This is a tangential issue though because there is no objectionable content anymore, so there is nothing to object to.
In your example, did Marvell completely stop selling the whole comic after the offending part was removed? I don't think so. I think it went back on sale once that part was gone. Similarly, now that the offending part is gone from the game there is no reason why it shouldn't also be back on sale.
The developers said it was a placeholder that they forgot to replace later.
From what I see on the screenshots, the easter egg asset was quite well done, seems finished and it was consistent with the rest of art direction.
The message was written in seal script. That's a different way of writing Chinese characters used in the ancient times, which most people nowadays find difficult to read. You have to go out of your way to read what's written there. I'm not sure if they put it there by accident but I think it's plausible they might have forgotten to remove it later. There is a lot of leftover development content in all kinds of games (although sometimes it's left for other reasons). It might be true, or it might be an excuse; either way, it's immaterial now that it's gone.