Reverb Publishing has expressed its regret after a promotion for one of its titles on Steam Greenlight called on users to vote for the game in return for the company donating $5,000 to homeless cat charity the Humane Society.
In a press release, the publisher said if Edge of Space, developed by Handyman Studios, wasn’t approved, that the money would “disappear like a puff of smoke in an uncaring wind”.
It also suggested that kittens would be left in the “harsh elements, be placed in harm’s way and possibly scheduled for euthanasia”.
Some users have expressed their anger and disappointment on the title’s Steam Greenlight page, calling it “disgusting” and “horrible marketing”.
“Jokes aside, the comments made were disgusting and undeserving a vote in my book. Think before someone writes press releases for you,” said one user.
Reverb has however express its regret, and in a statement to Eurogamer said there had been a misunderstanding on the marketing side, and that it did not support guilt voting in any way.
“Even before the promotion was approved Reverb had decided to make a donation of $5,000 to the Humane Society today, this was just a fun way of drumming up some attention for the game,” read the statement.
“The release was meant to grab attention and call readers to action, but we regret if we made anyone uncomfortable or angry with its content. Millions of stray cats enter shelters each year, with the yearly cost of humane shelters resting in the billions. Our wording may have been muddled, but our intentions are good.”