Big-O-Tree made the cancellation announcement of “Dirty Chinese Restaurant” on its Facebook and official website on October 5.
“After careful consideration and taking the time to listen to the publics 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 and wish to assure them that this game was not created with an intentional interest of inflicting harm or malice against Chinese culture,” Big-O-Tree wrote.
The company came under fire in late September for the extremely racist theme of “Dirty Chinese Restaurant.” It features many references to racism and negative stereotypes about the Chinese community like the “sweatshop mode,” employees who wear rice picker hats who can occasionally get deported and chefs chasing cats and dogs with a meat cleaver.
It follows the story of Wong Fu, the new owner of the restaurant which he inherited from his brother Wang Fu. Players would have to choose their own path to take to become a successful restaurant owner — either by running the place the right away or by taking the really shady path of tax evasion and gambling.
Many people called out the company, including U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) who wrote a post on her Facebook page on September 26.
The Ontario, Canada-based developer also promised to remove everything related to “Dirty Chinese Restaurant” from all of its social media accounts.
“Out of respect we will begin removing all marketing media pertaining to DCR off our Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts. These accounts will also be removed. We ask the press to please respect our privacy at this time as we begin the task of removing all our content.”
Community activist Karlin Chan, believes Big-O-Tree’s decision to pull the game off the market is the right call.
“They made the right choice by withdrawing the game. I guess they saw that it wasn’t fun and games to poke fun at people by using racist stereotypes,” Chan told NBC News.
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