Neopets dumps the metaverse and crypto as TNT goes mobile
Neopets, the classic social game, is making its way to mobile as The Neopets Team (TNT) becomes an independent entity. The decision was revealed through an announcement on the Neopets blog. Previously under Jumpstart's management, a NetDragon subsidiary, Neopets had been running at a loss for over a decade. The once-popular game, where players can own colorful digital animals, experienced a decline in usage due to lack of support and development. However, with new leadership led by longtime fan Dominic Law, the newly independent TNT has secured $4 million in funding to breathe new life into the aging title.
TNT's plans include revitalizing and modernizing the game, transitioning minigames from Flash to HTML5, and developing a new mobile game centered around the beloved Neopets characters. NetDragon had acquired Jumpstart in 2017, gaining access to Neopets, which still had a loyal fanbase despite a significant drop in its peak user count to around 100,000.
Neopets saw an increase in interest, especially during the pandemic, but attempts to venture into the metaverse failed to resonate with users, leading to a continued decline in the player base. As of June 2023, Jumpstart has shut down, leaving Neopets as the sole survivor of the original deal.
TNT's focus now lies in meaningful changes to usher in a Neopian renaissance. They plan to fix bugs, update the site structure, and introduce a new mobile game called "World of Neopets" as a standalone spin-off, distancing itself from the metaverse concept and avoiding the controversial Web3 and NFT aspects.
Neopets' return to its roots and emphasis on the mobile platform have already shown positive results, with an 80% reduction in customer support ticket backlog. The team also aims to improve mobile browser compatibility for the web version. In summary, it appears to be a "back to basics" moment for the beloved title, bringing a fresh and promising outlook for Neopets' dedicated fanbase.
Source: Iwan Morris, Staff Writer at PocketGamer