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PETA’s ‘Kitten Squad’ Becomes Second-Most Downloaded Free Game on Switch

The number two best-selling free-to-play title on Nintendo Switch is an action-adventure arcade game from … PETA?

Kitten Squad” on Switch surpassed 100,000 downloads less than a week after its launch on May 10, PETA told Variety, and it’s holding steady as the second-most downloaded F2P Switch title on the eShop.

It’s one of the first F2P titles on Nintendo’s new hybrid console. A so-called “advocacy game” where up to four people can fight evil robots and liberate orcas, sheep, cows, and elephants from imprisonment, PETA said its missions are inspired by real-world exposés that uncovered animal abuse, including baby elephants being held captive by the Ringling Bros. circus, calves being torn away from their mothers on a dairy farm, and sheep being beaten on wool farms, as documented at shearing facilities in Australia, the U.S., and Argentina.

“What we think is really interesting is how untapped the Switch game market is for brands — and how PETA was the first brand of any kind to release a free game,” a PETA spokesperson told Variety via email. “We think it’s truly a unique marketing strategy and given the results, one that has already paid off. Given that people will continue to search for free games and ours will show up we’ll continue to have free advertisement right on the Nintendo Switch platform.”

“Kitten Squad” originally came out on PlayStation 4 in 2015. The Switch version will launch in the European market soon. There are also PC and mobile ports. The game has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times across all platforms.

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