The “stray” cat video game brings some benefits to real cats

NEW YORK (AP) – The virtual cat hero of new video game sensation “Stray” not only winds up with rusty pipes, leaps over unknown mud and decodes clues in an abandoned city. The daring orange tabby is helping real-world cats, too.

Thanks to online fundraising platforms, gamers are playing “Vagabond” while streaming live to viewers to raise money for animal shelters and other cat-related charities. The game’s publisher, Annapurna Interactive, also promoted “Stray”, a New York cat cafe to rent and rent, by offering copies of the game to two cat rescue and adoption agencies.

Playing livestreaming games for charity isn’t new, but the echo “stray” quickly received from cat lovers is unusual. The streaming platform said it was the fourth most viewed and aired game on the day it launched on Twitch.

Viewers watch the players navigate the adventurous feline through the old industrial landscape, doing the usual feline stuff – balancing on railings, walking on keyboards and knocking things off shelves – to solve puzzles and evade enemies. For.

One producer said that about 80% of the game’s development team are “cat owners and cat lovers” and that a real-life orange tramp as well as their own cats helped inspire the game.

Swan Martin-Raget, producer of the Bluetwelve gaming studio in Montpellier in southern France, said, “I certainly hope that maybe some people will be inspired to help out in real life in real life – knowing that there is an animal and a Having a partner is a responsibility.” ,

Marketing expert Brendan Gepson said that when Annapurna Interactive arrived to partner with the Nebraska Humane Society ahead of the game’s launch on July 19, they hit the spot.

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“The whole game and the whole culture around sports, it’s all about the love of cats,” Gepson said. “It matches up really well with the shelter and our mission.”

Shelter got to give away four copies of the game and solicited donations for $5 to enter the raffle to win one. In one week, he raised $7,000, Gepson said, with most of the 550 donors new to him, including those from Germany and Malta. The company also donated $1,035 to the shelter.

“It was really mutually beneficial,” Gepson said. “They got some really good PR out of it and we got a new donor base out of it.”

Annapurna also bought New York Cat Cafe and adoption agency Meow Parlor for the weekend, along with a $1,000 donation. Visitors who make a reservation can purchase “stray” themed merchandise and play games for up to 20 minutes while surrounded by cats. (The game also fascinates cats, Video on social media shows.)

Annapurna Interactive’s marketing director Jeff Legaspie said it makes sense for the game’s launch to be something “positively impactful and hopefully bring more awareness to not go shopping for a new pet.”

Annapurna declined to disclose sales or download figures for the game, which is available on PlayStation and Steam platforms. However, according to Steam Monitor SteamDB, has been “stray” number 1 bought game since last two weeks.

North Shore Animal League America, which rescues thousands of animals each year, said it did not see any increase in traffic from the game, but they have received more $800 thanks to a gamer,

In a happy coincidence, Shelter had just set up a profile on the Tiltify platform, which allows nonprofits to receive donations from video streams, the week the game launched. The player donated to the shelter, breaking his initial goal of $200.

“We are looking at Tiltify and livestreaming as this new way to engage completely different audiences,” said Carol Marchesano, Senior Digital Marketing Director at Rescue. Typically, though, organizations need to reach out to online personalities to coordinate livestreams, which can take a lot of work, she said.

In about nine campaigns on Tiltify, the company’s CEO Michael Wasserman mentions the game “Stray”. JustGiving, which also facilitates charity livestreams, said it has identified two campaigns with the sport.

For his part, Gepson from Nebraska reached out to an Omaha resident who goes by the name Trade 1014 online to run a charity livestream. Trey, who asked that his last name not be used, has two cats, one of whom he adopted from the shelter.

Last week, he told the audience Watching Twitch Live On Stage As his feline character batted on another cat’s tail and danced along the railing.

“If I found out my cat was doing this, I would be upset,” Trey said, as his character jumped a dangerous distance. Moments later, a rusted pipe broke, sending Tabby a gut-wrenching down in the dark.

“He’s a poor kid,” Trey said sadly, “but we’re fine.”

The $25 donation came after the fall to raise the amount raised by Trey to more than $100 in about 30 minutes for the Nebraska shelter. By the end of the four-and-a-half hour game, donations totaled $1,500. His goal was to raise $200.

“It has opened my eyes to being able to use this platform for a lot more good than just playing video games,” Trey said.


AP business writer Matt O’Brien contributed to this report.


Associated Press coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits is supported through AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit,

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