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Publisher apologises for arguably tasteless kitten death promo

Reverb will donate a whack of money to help keep shelter cats from being euthanised, and is very sorry it let you think they would be left to die.

In its efforts to promote Edge of Space, Reverb Publishing said in a press release that $5,000 would be donated to help save shelter cats. Unfortunately, the wording of its press release made it sound as if the kittens were being held hostage against the game making it through the Steam Greenlight process:

"If the game doesn't get approval, that money will disappear, like a puff of smoke in the uncaring wind, leaving poor kitties to survive in the harsh elements, be placed in harm's way and possibly scheduled for euthanasia. The challenge is out there, and for a simple 'yes' vote on Steam's Greenlight consumers can actively take a role in saving the lives of kitties."

Apparently, that's not actually true; Reverb told Eurogamer it has already decided to donate the funds and wouldn't dream of threatening kitties.

"We took a non-traditional approach to garner attention for [Edge of Space] as well as creating a chance to donate money to a good cause, but it seems as though our release was taken the wrong way by some people," a spokesperson said.

"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. 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."

Reverb's Doug Kennedy wrote on Edge's of Space's Greenlight page that the company regularly makes donations to various charitable organisations - including those which save adorable kittens - and will continue to do so while it makes money, something which is very much dependent on games getting attention. Plus, it was a joke:

"Does anyone really think that that we were not going to make the $5,000 donation, come on folks, seriously? I've been in the industry for 20 years, I remember when it was fun, lighten up a bit and appreciate the fact that a great organization like the Humane Society is getting a ton of attention and a nice contribution," he said.

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