PONOS Corporation, the Kyoto-based studio behind the hit tower defence game The Battle Cats, has revealed in a statement that it has become the latest high profile victim of cybercrime.
Writing on November 19th, PONOS announced that a hacking group operating under the name The OutCats has taken over the studio’s social media accounts and stolen 100 million cans of Cat Food from a company warehouse.
The OutCats themselves have disclosed their motive for the attack in a video posted on the PONOS Facebook, X, and Instagram accounts, revealing that the gang is composed of outcasts who were rejected from The Battle Cats nine years ago.
In a move likely to draw favourable comparisons with Robin Hood, The OutCats have pledged to share the stolen 100 million Cat Food among the game’s existing fanbase, awarding 999 to every player who logs in once.
You can watch the full ransom video below.
Released for mobiles in 2014, around the time that The OutCats claim to have been cast out, The Battle Cats has become a cult classic over the last decade – albeit a hugely successful one, with more than 85 million downloads to its name across iOS and Android.
In terms of gameplay, The Battle Cats sees players attempting to command an army of cats as they do battle with a vast array of enemies, from squirrels to gigantic cybernetic monstrosities.
Over time, players add new Battle Cats to their collections, giving them an ever greater range of capabilities.
Releasing these additional Battle Cats from their Capsules costs Cat Food, meaning that every player in the game now has the opportunity to beef up their army free of charge as a result of The OutCats’s brazen cyberattack.
While the incident is likely to be welcomed by players, PONOS struck a markedly frosty tone in its official statement.
Read it below.
19 November 2023 – 3:00PM PST
BREAKING: PONOS announces theft of 100 million Cat Food cans
PONOS Corporation has today launched an independent review of security after it was discovered 100 million Cat Food cans were missing from The Battle Cats warehouse.
A representative of PONOS was contacted this morning by an alleged criminal organisation claiming responsibility. Further investigation revealed more than 100 million Cat Food cans had indeed been stolen by the syndicate, whose demands are yet unknown.
This matter is currently under investigation, but we will provide more information over the coming days as more details come to light.