Since the video game’s release, players all around the world have been playing Stray while streaming to raise money for cat shelters.
Reported that “The daring orange tabby is helping real-world cats as well,” as online fundraising platforms are seeing an influx of gamers playing the game to raise money for cat-related charities.
Livestreaming games for charity has become one of the biggest uses of platforms like Twitch and is nothing new to the Twitch community, but the amount of like-minded people that have seemed to resonate with Stray is astonishing.
Livestreaming for Stray
North Shore Animal League America rescues tens of thousands of animals each year and was able to receive an $800 donation thanks to a gamer who used their Tiltify campaign to funnel all her donations to the rescue.
A streamer TreyDay1014 was approached by the Nebraska Humane Society to livestream for their charity as he had adopted one of his two kitties from their rescue. With an initial goal of $200 for the shelter, he managed to raise a total of $1500 in four-and-a-half hours of streaming Stray, and shared “this has opened my eyes to being able to use this platform for a lot more good than just playing video games.”
Stray on PlayStation and Steam
Twitch claims that Stray was the fourth most watched and broadcast game on the platform on the day of the game’s launch. Viewers (and if you check Twitter you can see viewer’s cats enjoying the show as well) are watching players navigate the adventurous main feline through an ageing industrial landscape, doing cat stuff, like balancing on railings, walking over keyboards and knowing things off of shelves, not for nothing but to solve puzzles and evade enemies.
80% of the development team at Annapurna Interactive are cat owners and cat lovers and shared that their kitties and a real-life stray inspired the game.
BlueTwelve gaming studio’s producer Swann Martin-Raget shared, “I certainly hope that maybe some people will be inspired to help actual strays in real life – knowing that having an animal and a companion is a responsibility.”
Annapurna Interactive Charity Efforts
Before the game’s launch, the studio reached out to the Nebraska Humane Society to partner with them and give them four copies of the game to raffle off for $5 a ticket, and marketing specialist at the society, Brendan Gepson said that they jumped at the opportunity.
“The whole game and the whole culture around the game is all about a love of cats. It meshed really well with the shelter and our mission.”
The raffle brought in 550 new donors – some of which were from different countries like Germany and Malta and made $7000 in a week for the shelter, with an added donation of $1035 from the development company as well.
Annapurna Interactive also bought out Meow Parlour, a cat café and adoption agency in New York, as well as donated $1000 to their cause. Visitors who made reservations had access to buy Stray-themed merchandise and demo the game for 20 minutes while being surrounded by kitties.
Their marketing director, Jeff Legaspi, said “It made sense for the game’s launch to do something positively impactful and hopefully bring more awareness to adopting and not shopping for a new pet.