Neopets is now once again an independently owned online game for the first time since 2005, as the massively popular title is under new management.
It’s fair to say that Neopets can be considered one of the best free games for younger gamers. However, its existence over the last decade has left much to be desired. Announced via the brand’s official Medium page, it’s been revealed that the title is no longer under the influence of JumpStart Games, as it shut down in late June 2023.
The lengthy post explains that: “TNT is thrilled to be operating under the guidance of a brand new leadership team! With the support of this new leadership, TNT now has access to assets that will empower us to breathe fresh life into Neopia”.
Being free of corporate shackles has meant time and money to preserve the game’s history while innovating in new ways. The new management explained the previous 10 years of leadership: “For most of the last decade, The Neopets Team has been under the management of JumpStart Games, which, over time, has struggled to find success for Neopets”. This was continued with: “Beset by aging site features, a waning user base, and a lack of resources, TNT had to work tirelessly just to barely keep the site afloat”.
Announced on the Neopets Twitter account, the new homepage for the title launches this Thursday (July 20) with the goal of unifying the classic online game with the more recent developments. The new CEO is Dominic Law, who previously led the Neopets Metaverse NFT project at NetDragon.
However, these plans have now been thrown out, too. The Neopets Metaverse landing page, which now re-directs to the aforementioned blog post, states that: The Neopets Team has taken a close look at every nook and cranny of Neopets, and after doing so, the decision has been made to transition away from the Neopets Metaverse game and redistribute those resources to the development of a game that we feel can better reflect our values and vision”. The assets will be purposed for the upcoming World of Neopets mobile game which will not feature NFTs and “is NOT built on a crypto model”.
With the collapse of JumpStart Games last month, The Neopets Team and NetDragon reached an agreement for a buyout deal to become sole owners of the long-running online IP. The title had previously been running at a severe loss over 10 years. $4 million was raised from private investors in the development of the Web3 title (via PC Gamer).
Neopets was previously bought by Nickelodeon’s parent company Viacom in 2005 for $160 million, who owned the online game until 2014, when it was sold to SuperJump Games for an undisclosed amount until the shuttering. This means that the title is now free of corporate involvement for the first time in 17 years.
It’s looking like the upcoming World of Neopets game could be considered one of the best iPhone games or one of the best Android games if you’re a fan of the genre. You can play it on one of the best gaming phones.