Neopets, a highly popular virtual pets site in the early 2000s, is going through a revival under new leadership.
As someone who wasn’t allowed to keep pets, especially furry ones, at home, Neopets was a lifesaver.
Nineties kids will remember Neopets, a site where anyone can raise and care for their virtual pets in the magical world of Neopia.
Players get to explore the different worlds in Neopia, play numerous online games, attend events and concerts or even battle their friends at the arena to level up their pets.
The site’s popularity gradually fizzled and the trail “went cold” when Adobe Flash was deleted in 2021. Without Flash, more than a hundred games on the site were rendered inaccessible.
Fortunately, Neopets is making a comeback after it went independent on 25 July.
With the change of leadership, the poorly received NFT game Neopets Metaverse is also scrapped. The Neopets Team began working on fixing bugs and implementing community feedback.
However, the most exciting news from this development is the return of the beloved Neopets games.
Using the Ruffle emulator, more than 50 of its classic games such as Faerie Bubbles, Destruct O Match, Ice Cream Machine, Kass Basher, Illusen’s Glade, Hasee Bounce, Meepit Juice Break, and Jhudora’s Bluff are back in its glory.
The other upcoming changes include an exclusive virtual concert, a brand new story plot, and a giveaway to celebrate the new era of Neopets.
John Legend was also brought on board to be the brand ambassador for the Neopets revival.
What are you waiting for? Head over to Neopets now and relive the nostalgia.
Excited to announce that I'm the new brand ambassador for @Neopets! My family and I have been long time fans of the game, and I can’t wait for you to experience it too. Looking forward to more adventures together! pic.twitter.com/c7umXvzjZ0— John Legend (@johnlegend) July 22, 2023
How did the Neopets revival come to be?
Viacom bought Neopets for $160 million in 2005 but then sold it to US edutainment company JumpStart in 2014.
Chinese game developer NetDragon later acquired JumpStart. However, NetDragon shut down JumpStart on 30 June 2023.
Neopets was saved by its huge fan Dominic Law, an executive who was previously in charge of NetDragon’s Neopets Metaverse NFT project, via a “management buyout deal.”
The buyout allowed the old Neopets team at JumpStart and the Neopets Metaverse team at NetDragon to join forces and become an independent company, World of Neopia, Inc., with Law as its CEO.
Free from the corporate baggage that existed in the past, the newly united [Neopets team] has now been entrusted with the decision-making and overall brand strategy of Neopets, enabling them to work solely on the betterment of the entire Neopets game and community.The Neopets Team