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11-hour Neko Atsume livestream tests cat lovers’ commitment level

All this week, Google Play Japan celebrated the most popular mobile games available on the platform with special YouTube events for its Game Week with Google Play.

One of those games was the stray cat-caregiver simulation app Neko Atsume, a game that achieved worldwide popularity since its release earlier this year, despite only being available in Japanese.

In honor of its success and in tandem with Google's promotion, developer Hit-Point staged a live-action recreation of the game's setting at Osaka, Japan's premier cat cafe, "Neko no Jikan Kita-honten." It filled the room with cats, set up a few cameras and let them run — for 11 hours straight.

Google Play hosted a livestream of the full proceedings on its official YouTube channel. The most invested fans of Neko Atsume (which means "cat-gathering") can watch a full archive of the stream above, which features hours of a variety of cats sleeping, eating and very occasionally playing with toys familiar to players of the game.

According to a press release about the event, Neko Atsume "has topped 6.5 million downloads." The way the game works is not too far off from how it's presented in the stream: Players can put out different types of food for a rotating collective of strays that visit their backyards. After they're satisfied, the cats leave behind sardines, which can then be used to purchase more food or toys that will hopefully attract rarer breeds, like a mountain climber cat, a cat resembling Anna Wintour or the elusive Cream-san.

Neko Atsume is available on both the iOS App Store and Android's Google Play Store for free. While the game is completely in Japanese, it requires no understanding of the language to play. Even so, the game's subreddit and various fansites offer players helpful guides for navigating gamers' entry into the all-consuming world of cat obsession.