Neopets, the beloved virtual pet game from the 2000s that featured Flash games and a giant omelette, is under new management—and they’re looking to reinvigorate the world of Neopia. On July 18, the newly formed World of Neopia, Inc. published a lengthy blog post under the byline “The Neopets Team” (TNT) detailing the future of the franchise, from the abandonment of metaverse and NFT plans to the updating of the famously broken Flash games.
Thanks to over $4 million in funding secured from investors, TNT wrote that “for the first time in over a decade, [the team is] equipped to make meaningful changes in pursuit of a Neopian renaissance.” Those changes include finding a fix for the Adobe Flash problem, as the EOL of Flash in December 2020 effectively orphaned hundreds of thousands of Flash-based games. “We have begun exploring the use of Ruffle [a Flash player emulator] to resolve the issues caused by the end of Flash in hopes of speeding up the process of bringing functionality back to our beloved games,” the blog post read.
But fixing Flash-based games isn’t all the team plans to do. It also “took a long, hard look at community feedback on Neopets Metaverse” and NFTs, two recent initiatives which Neopets fans almost uniformly hated. “It quickly became clear that the game just didn’t line up with everything that made Neopets…well…Neopets,” the team wrote. Instead, the team is abandoning that venture (thank god), and focusing instead on an upcoming mobile game called World of Neopets, “a social life-simulation game in which you live your ideal Neopian life from the perspective of a Neopet.”
In the upcoming game (which doesn’t have a release date yet), you’ll be able to decorate a home, play mini-games, collect Neopets, and explore “iconic Neopian lands in 3D.” The devs promised that World of Neopets will not just be a rebranding of the maligned Neopets Metaverse. “There are no NFTs in World of Neopets, and the game is NOT built on a crypto model,” they wrote. Blessings!
There will also be opportunities for Neopets fans to become “brand ambassadors.“
The beloved, classic Neopets site will remain, with TNT promising “great things on the horizon for the classic virtual pet site that started it all.” And a brand-new site will launch on July 20 as a “one-stop shop for all brand announcements, links to our different games and products, a repository of Neopets articles and related links, and anything else Neopian you can think of!”
The “new era” of Neopets promised by the team is possible, thanks in large part, to the brand no longer falling under the management of JumpStart Games, which the team said “struggled to find success for Neopets” before shutting down on June 30 of this year.
Now, the team is led by Dominic Law, described as a Neopets superfan who pushed JumpStart Games parent company NetDragon to keep the brand alive in the wake of JumpStart’s shutdown. “A management buyout deal was struck” that allowed the two Neopets teams to “combine forces and become an independent company” that is “free from the corporate baggage that existed in the past.” Weirdly though, Law’s most recent job title on LinkedIn is Chief Metaverse Officer at Neopets.
I myself am ready for Neopets’ triumphant return, sans NFTs and crypto trash. Are you?