A new video game that features a brave cat is popular with cat lovers. Some of them use the game to raise funds for real cats.
The game was released last month. It’s called “Stray”. A stray animal is homeless. Many stray cats and dogs live on the streets of the city.
Thanks online Fund raising services, players play “Stray” live for the public to raise money for animal shelters and other cat-related organizations.
Annapurna Interactive, the creator of the game, publicized “Stray” by offering two cat rescue and adoption agencies copies of the game to give away.
Live game for charity is not new. But the rapid popularity of “Stray” is a bit unusual. It was the fourth most-watched game the day it first aired on Twitch, the video game streaming site.
The viewers watch players send the game’s chat through a city to solve problems and evade enemies. The in-game cat does all of this while doing normal cat activities, such as scratching, jumping, or hitting things on tables.
About 80% of the game’s creative team are “cat owners and cat lovers,” the game’s producers said.
“I certainly hope that maybe some people will be inspired to help real wanderers in real life,” Swann Martin-Raget said. He is the producer of the game Stray and works at the game studio BlueTwelve in France.
Annapurna Interactive reached out to the Nebraska Humane Society to discuss a partnership ahead of the game’s July 19 launch. The Humane Society jumped at the chance, said marketer Brendan Gepson.
“The whole game and the whole culture around the game, it’s all about the love of cats,” Gepson said. “This mesh very well with the refuge and our mission.
The shelter received four copies of the game to give away. People donated $5 for a chance to win one of the games. Within a week, the shelter raised $7,000, Gepson said.
Most of the 550 donors were new to the shelter, including people from Germany and Malta.
Jeff Legaspi is the Marketing Director of Annapurna Interactive. He said it made sense for the game’s launch to do something “impactful” or have a powerful influence. He added that he hopes the game will “raise more awareness about adopting and not buying a new pet.”
The game is available on PlayStation and online gaming platform Steam. Steam monitor SteamDB said “Stray” was the number one game purchased in the past two weeks.
Annapurna has not released any sales or download figures for the game.
I am Dan Novak.
Dan Novak adapted this story for VOA Learning English based on reporting by The Associated Press.
words in this story
raise funds — nm activity performed to raise money for a political party, charity, school, etc.
charity — nm giving money, food or other forms of help to poor, sick people, etc.
viewer — nm a person who sees or looks at something
Inspire -v. make you want to do something; to give an idea of what to do or create
mesh -v. adapt or work together successfully
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