‘Dirty Chinese Restaurant’ Video Game Canceled for Being Extremely Racist

The developers have decided not to release their Chinese restaurant simulator after all

A video game about a Chinese restaurant has been canceled after being called out for racism.

The developers of an upcoming video game called Dirty Chinese Restaurant announced this week that they would be canceling the game’s release after a storm of complaints about how racist the game was.

Dirty Chinese Restaurant was created by a Canadian developer called Big-O-Tree Games. It put players in the role of the owner of a Chinese restaurant, and players have the option to use “legit” or “unsavoury” ingredients.

Trailers for the video game showed the proprietor character scoring points by dumpster diving for ingredients and hunting cats and dogs with a cleaver in the alleyway to serve on the menu. He also cranks employees’ work to “sweatshop” levels, cheats on taxes, and dodges the immigration officials who deport the restaurant’s staff.

After the video game trailers were released on YouTube, complaints started rolling in about how racist the game was. New York congresswoman Grace Meng said, "this game uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese American."

Big-O-Tree Games, whose name sounds like “bigotry” and whose motto is “because being politically correct is so … boring,” initially stood up for the game and said it would be released as planned.

Now, however, they’ve changed their minds. The company announced on Facebook that the game’s release was canceled.

“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,” the company said. “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.”

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The canceling of one racist cell phone game is no big loss, though, especially considering how many actually good, addictive, food-themed video games are already out there.