The new cat video game “stray” is actually helping the animals in real life. The orange tabby cat of the new game “Stray” is assisting cats that live in the real world. Gamers are earning money for animal shelters and other organizations that help cats by playing the video game “Stray.” They do this while streaming their gameplay live for audiences online through internet fundraising platforms.
In addition, in order to promote “Stray,” the game’s publisher, Annapurna Interactive, rented out a New York cat cafe and gave away copies of the game to two organizations that help cats find homes and find new homes for abandoned cats.
The practice of livestreaming video game play in support of charitable causes isn’t new. However, the unusually strong response “Stray” received from animal lovers is shocking. According to data provided by the streaming platform, it was the fourth most watched and aired game. This was on the day it was made available on Twitch.
The audience watches as players guide the daring cat around an aged industrial landscape while doing typical cat behaviors. This includes walking on keyboards, balancing on handrails and knocking things off shelves. This is in order to solve puzzles and avoid being attacked by monsters.
According to one of the game’s creators, over eighty percent of the team who worked on the game are “cat owners and cat lovers.” Also, a real-life orange stray in addition to their own cats, helped to inspire the game.
“I absolutely hope that maybe some people will be inspired to rescue actual strays in real life.” This was said by the producer, Swann Martin-Raget of the BlueTwelve gaming company in Montpellier. This company is located in the south of France. “Knowing that having an animal and a companion is a duty,” he added.
The new cat video game ‘stray’ is actually helping the animals in real life
Brendan Gepson, a marketing expert says that when Annapurna Interactive asked the Nebraska Humane Society to work with them on the game before it came out on July 19, the organization jumped at the chance.
According to Gepson, “the whole game and the whole community around the game, it’s all about the love of cats.” Also, this sentiment permeates the entire experience. “It fits in incredibly nicely with the shelter and the objective that we are trying to accomplish.”
The shelter purchased four copies of the game to give away to patrons. This is in exchange for a donation of $5. Patrons were entered into a draw for a chance to win one of the games. According to Gepson, in just one week, they were able to collect $7,000 from 550 donors. The vast majority of whom were new to the organization.
These donors came from as far away as Germany and Malta. In addition, the corporation made a donation to the shelter in the amount of $1,035. Gepson stated that there was a significant increase in value for both parties. They benefited from some pretty positive public relations as a result of it. However, our organization gained an entirely new donor base.
In addition to this, Annapurna contributed $1,000. They took over the New York cat cafe and adoption agency known as Meow Parlour for an entire weekend. Guests who had made appointments were given the opportunity to purchase “Stray”-themed items. They played the game for twenty minutes while they were surrounded by cats.
Actual cats love the game ‘stray’
Videos that have been posted on social media show that cats are also interested in the game. According to Jeff Legaspi, the head of marketing for Annapurna Interactive, it made perfect sense for the launch of the game to do something that would have a “positively influential” and ideally raise more awareness about adopting pets rather than buying new ones.
Annapurna has chosen not to publish any information regarding the game’s sales or download numbers. The game may be played on the PlayStation platform as well as the Steam platform. On the other hand, the SteamDB monitor reports that “Stray” has been the game that customers have purchased the most during the past two weeks.
The North Shore Animal League America, which saves the lives of tens of thousands of animals every year, said it hadn’t seen any increase in traffic because of the game. However, one of its players still gave more than $800 to the organization.
Tiltify is a website that enables charitable organizations to receive donations via video streams. By a fortuitous coincidence, the animal shelter had just recently created a profile on the platform the week that the game was released. By collecting donations for a homeless shelter, the participant raised more than twice the amount she had set out to do, which was $200.
According to Carol Marchesano, who serves as the senior digital marketing director for the rescue organization, “We are seeing Tiltify and livestreaming as this whole new avenue for us to engage a whole different audience.” She said that most of the time, organizations need to get in touch with well-known people on the internet in order to plan livestreams, which can take a lot of work.
The popularity of ‘stray’
Per Michael Wasserma, the CEO of the company, around nine different campaigns on Tiltify make reference to the game “Stray.” JustGiving, an organization that also helps organize charity livestreams, said that it found two campaigns related to the game.
For his part, Gepson from Nebraska reached out to an Omaha resident known online as TreyDay1014 in order to host a charity livestream. Trey is proud to own two cats, one of which he got from a local animal shelter. A week ago, he provided commentary to viewers who were following along live on the site Twitch while his cat character swatted another cat’s tail and danced around railings.
Trey’s character, who was in the midst of a dangerous leap, remarked that he would be “upset” if he found out that his cat had been acting in such a manner while he was away. A short time later, an old pipe broke, sending the cat hurtling down into the unknown darkness below. “That is a poor baby, but we are okay,” he said.
After the fall, Trey received a contribution of $25, bringing the total amount of money he had gathered for the Nebraska shelter to over $100 in just under half an hour. Donations amounted to a total of $1,500 by the time the game had been played for four and a half hours. His goal had been to raise $200.
“This has opened my eyes to the possibility of using this platform for a lot more good than just playing video games,” Trey said.
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