A Melbourne councillor has called Team Bondi’s LA Noire follow-up an ''attempt to disgrace Chinese culture, history and traditions''.
City of Monash councillor Jieh-Yung Lo has told The Age that Whore of the Orient’s title is offensive to older Chinese citizens, and that he planned to complain to the Human Rights Commission on grounds of racial vilification.
''It's the use of the word 'Orient', more even than the word 'whore', that is the issue,'' said Lo.
''The O-word is very similar to the N-word for African-American communities.
“It's a 19th century racial-colonial conception and it's especially painful for older people in the communities,” he added.
“That was a very bad time in China, and people don't want or need to have that dragged up.''
Lo is also outraged that the game received monetary support from the government.
''The most shocking revelation is that Team Bondi received AU$200,000 from Screen New South Wales to develop the project,'' said Lo.
''Australian institutions should be encouraged to fund projects and initiatives that cultivate mutual understanding and prosperity in the Australia-China relationship.
"We need to build greater trust and cultural understanding rather than promote division and negativity.''
Lo said Team Bondi should ''retract the title and stop development of the game''.
''The best outcome,'' he said, ''would be a change of title''.
A spokesman for Screen NSW said that it did not proscribe subject matter to content creators, but instead made its funding decisions based on the creative integrity of a project and the expertise of the funding applicants.
The title ''doesn't refer to any content of the game", the spokesperson added.
"'Whore of the Orient' is an historical nickname for the city of Shanghai.”
Prior to the Screen NSW funding, Team Bondi was struggling, with rumours circulating that almost the entire development team had been laid off.
According to The Age, interests associated with studio owner Kennedy Miller Mitchell registered a new company, Team Bondi Interactive Entertainment Pty Ltd, in February 2013.
Notorious Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara is not listed as a director or a shareholder.