Felines have been revered all the way back to ancient Egypt, and what is only the latest of a long lineage of tributes to the fairer species is now the most-wishlisted video game on Steam.
A less creepy interpretation than , the upcoming game puts you in the paws of a stray cat living in a neon, cyberpunk city resembling the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong. In your search for home, you’ll solve puzzles that test your street smarts. You also have a robot friend, named B-12, who can turn into a backpack.
The first-purrson adventure will be available for the PlayStation 4 and 5 beginning July 19. It’s nice that the spotlight is shining upon an oft-ignored population, instead of, say, showcats, who already have ample attention at home.
As a stray, however, the hero cat does not have a name. With that being said, the real orange tabby that inspired it does. His name is Murtaugh, as confirmed by PlayStation in a tweet.
Meet Murtaugh, the main inspiration behind Stray’s pawed protagonist.
Dev details on bringing the game’s feline hero to life: https://t.co/sgvdUU4efl pic.twitter.com/qthc2clYMb
Murtaugh, too, was once a stray until he was taken in the care of Koola and Viv, co-founders of the game’s developer BlueTwelve Studio.
To pay homage to both strays, the studio has teamed up with the Nebraska Humane Society to give out codes to some lucky players who have donated at least US$5 for pets in need.
Though, the similarities between the in-game stray and Murtaugh stop at their appearances; Murtaugh was simply the soon-to-be-famous face for the character. For the protagonist’s nimble, cat-like mannerisms, the team looked to Oscar the Sphinx, an A-list cat who is often cast in movies.
fast travel as a cat pic.twitter.com/8PAQuBnbFL
— Annapurna Interactive (@A_i) July 6, 2022
“Animating a quadruped is already quite challenging but the subtleties of a cat’s movements are incredibly precise and hard to convey properly,” describes BlueTwelve Studio producer Swann Martin-Raget on the PlayStation blog. Oscar lent his expertise through footage of jumps and runs.
With the ubiquity of cats in the making of the game, it wouldn’t be surprising who the puppet master is. The game studio names one purrfectly whiskered Jun as its “executive chief general president commander director officer.”