Dirty Chinese Restaurant video game's release cancelled after being slammed as racist

A Toronto-area video game developer has opted not to release a game called Dirty Chinese Restaurant after it was slammed as racist.

Big-O-Tree Games 'would like to make a sincere and formal apology to the Chinese community'

Dirty Chinese Restaurant, a video game that included offensive and racist stereotypes, will not be released, its maker says. (Big-O-Tree Games)

A Toronto-area video game developer has opted not to release its game Dirty Chinese Restaurant after it was slammed as racist.

The developer Big-O-Tree Games made the announcement on its Facebook page Thursday, saying the game was "not created with an intentional interest of inflicting harm or malice against Chinese culture."

"After careful consideration and taking the time to listen to the public's opinion we have decided it's not in anyone's best interest to release Dirty Chinese Restaurant. We would like to make a sincere and formal apology to the Chinese community," the post read.

News of the game's upcoming release prompted an outcry from politicians and public officials ranging from Markham, Ont., Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Markham Unionville member of the legislature Michael Chan to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and New York congresswoman Grace Meng.

"I strongly condemn the Markham-based company that has created an inexcusably racist video game. I am appalled by its demeaning and offensive depictions of the Chinese community," Chan wrote in a statement last week.

The game's concept included players chasing after dogs and cats with a meat cleaver and running from immigration officials. The company said it would soon be made available on Apple and Android devices. An official release date hadn't been slated.

The company previously defended the game, saying it was simply satire. 

"It has come to our attention that our small, independent game, Dirty Chinese Restaurant, has upset some people due to its content," it said. "Our game is mainly satire and comedy influenced by the classic politically incorrect shows we grew up watching, such as: South Park, All in the Family, Sanford & Son, Family Guy, Simpsons and Chappelle's Show. We also listen to Jay-Z." 

On its website Thursday, the company said it would remove all marketing material related to the game from its social media "out of respect."

It also asked that the press "please respect our privacy at this time."