Like many PC gaming firms, GOG operates in a grey area in China. The company’s service is available in simplified Chinese, and to users without a VPN. But the Chinese government technically requires games to be licensed for sale in the country – a process strictly controlled by the National Radio and Television Administration and Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Larger games companies such as Activision Blizzard have sidestepped the requirement by partnering with Chinese firms to release their games on the mainland, while smaller storefronts like GOG have mostly been content to fly below the radar – something with the release of Devotion may have threatened.
That is the explanation, GOG doesn't want to draw any attention to themselves from the Chinese watchdogs.
In that situation it was really stupid to consider selling this game, and even announce it.
That's like breaking and entering in bright red clothes and with a large bell around your neck.
Maybe we misinterpreted everything and there were real, and well-meaning gamers from China messaging GOG to warn them that they're about to be stepping in deep shit and draw the attention of the watchdogs...
"After receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store." - we don't know what those messages were, we just assumed it was angry Pooh-fans... Could also have been Chinese GOG customer who are afraid of losing access to their accounts if GOG put themselves in the spotlight of Chinese authorities.
But of course it can also have been threats: Remove the game, or we'll come check your license... or both.
There is no way for anything to fly below the radar of Chinese tracking. They got surveillance measures in place beyond Orwell's worst nightmares. Devotion shouldn't even be a source of conflict anymore. This developer removed content after what happened over at Steam.
That aside the real story can be found on Weibo ... Chinese gamers
threatened to boycott CP2077 if Devotion was not removed before it was even added. They also threatened CP2077 because they found signs of promoting Taiwanese independence consciousness ... This is where things stand and this is what GoG had to say about hurting Chinese gamer's
feelings when releasing Devotion
on their official Weibo page: 「GOG.COM 保證不會做出傷害大家感情的事情，請大家放心」。Which roughly translates to GOG.COM promises not do anything that will hurt everyone's feelings. Please rest assured.
I still don't believe that it is gamers
but official watchdogs considering the part about hurting Chinese peoples' feelings ...
Reason being that I fail to see why this game, not even containing content that was causing an outrage, has been removed after what happened to this Taiwanese developer on Steam the first time there was conflict about this game. Said gamers
, who first found a pirated-copy of it, thinking that some of it would satirize their national leader ...
, started it and got it removed there and their publisher to drop the studio like a hot potato.
GoG bend to those gamers
, they took their time to reply and reassure said gamers
on their official Weibo, and all we
get is radio silence. That seems to me to be the whole story. GoG seems to be sitting it out not acknowledging their actual customers here thinking that it will be forgotten in a day or a week or even a month from now.