Cuteness has been a major selling point of many successful mobile games, but Hit-Point’s Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector may just out-cute them all. With its roly-poly, smiling cartoon cats in need of care and attention, the popular game represents nothing less than an apocalypse of adorableness. Only the most jaded and callous of gamers could resist the charms of these frisky felines. Their X-shaped buttholes are practically a license to print money. The loading screen says “Meow Loading,” for Christ’s sake. That’s not even fair. But, as with many things that seem too good to be true, Neko Atsume is harboring a horrible secret. As revealed in a scathing new Funny Or Die video written by Hannah Levy and Adriana Robles, the cats are basically self-centered dicks who don’t give two shits about the people playing their game. Ten years ago, The Onion presented readers with a kitten who thought of nothing but murder all day. This isn’t quite that disturbing, but it’s disheartening nevertheless.
The kittens of Neko Atsume are uncommonly candid in this video, addressing players directly in subtitled Japanese. It’s all about control for them. “We have you wrapped around our little paws,” one says. “I don’t know anything about you,” admits another, “but I don’t care.” It’s not that the cats are incapable of love. They simply explain that they have their own families and lives, away from the game, and that’s where their affection goes. To them, Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector seems to be nothing more than a job. They’re no more emotionally invested in their work than a fast food employee at a strip mall might be. It’s a harsh thing to learn, but there it is just the same. Given that Funny Or Die’s users are deeply divided about the merits of this video, it’s possible that Levy and Robles have hit a nerve with their modest little cartoon.