It’s not like Neopets is in the news a lot these days compared to when it was on everyone’s minds in the 90s but the classic pet simulator is still alive and kicking. It has reportedly still pulled in over 100,000 active users a day, has a rumored new video game in the works, and even has a new TV show slated to premiere in Fall 2021.
But all of this momentum and goodwill may have been lost as loyal fans and the internet at large is outraged over JumpStart’s latest decision regarding Neopets. JumpStart has partnered with Raydium, Solana, and Moonvault to launch The Neopets Metaverse Collection — the game’s first collection of NFTs.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have been extremely controversial due to their negative impact on the environment as well as their potential to aid in art theft. Many users online have expressed their disappointment in Neopets and JumpStart for the decision, leading to some brutal comments online.
One user even made this crushing piece of “fan art.”
The Neopets Team has since made a post on their forums discussing the decision. In it, they answered some of the most frequently asked questions they have gotten about the new NFT line, including why they even made NFTs in the first place.
“JumpStart is always looking for new opportunities to drive our brands and product forward into the future. We are constantly seeking new ways for players to engage with us and we see NFT’s as a potential opportunity for the company in this regard. We are going to learn new things on this journey and want to encourage everyone to keep sharing their thoughts and feedback with us as we go so we can improve and adjust accordingly.”
For their fans angry that new features being added to the game and other desperately needed updates due to Adobe Flash no longer being supported, they had this to say:
“Please know that the NFT’s in question were created by a partner company and did not impact the release schedules of the Neopets Team in any way; features and content have been developed and converted without interruption and we’re excited to keep rolling out new features for the community in the future.”
Despite this, it seems that many of their dedicated userbase is leaving over this decision. With Neopets fighting to maintain relevance, this may end up being a death blow for the classic site. With even anime looking into NFTs to help produce shows, it seems that Neopets will be an interesting example for other companies to learn from before deciding if they’ll jump onto the crypto-craze in the future.