10/06/2017 07:33 EDT | Updated 10/06/2017 08:08 EDT

Ontario Company Says 'Dirty Chinese Restaurant' Video Game Won't Be Released

Big-O-Tree Games initially defended the game as satire.

Big-O-Tree Games/YouTube
The company said the game was not created

TORONTO — The Toronto-area developer of a video game denounced as racist says the product will not be released as planned.

The game, called "Dirty Chinese Restaurant," features players chasing cats and dogs with a cleaver, scavenging for ingredients and dodging immigration officials.

Big-O-Tree Games of Markham, Ont., initially defended the game as satire and said last month that it would be released soon for Apple and Android devices.

But the company posted a message on its Facebook page Thursday saying the game would not be released after "careful consideration and taking the time to listen to the public's opinion."

The company also offered a "sincere and formal apology" to the Chinese community and said the game was not created "with an intentional interest of inflicting harm or malice against Chinese culture."

Critics of the game included New York congresswoman Grace Meng, who said the game "uses every negative and demeaning stereotype" she has encountered as a Chinese American. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also condemned the game, saying such racism has no place in Ontario.

In its statement Thursday, Big-O-Tree Games said it will begin removing all marketing about the game from its social media accounts.

The company, which described itself as a small independent game studio, initially described the game as "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."

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