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Neopets announces ‘new era’ of independence

Neopets is under new leadership, following the closure of Jumpstart.
neopets independent company new era 2023

Neopets is officially under new management, following the closure of parent company Jumpstart in June 2023. While it briefly appeared that the beloved online pet simulator would be shut down, a new blog has confirmed The Neopets Team (TNT) will now take full ownership of the website, to keep it running in future.

The ‘World of Neopia, Inc.’ will operate as an independent entity, thanks to a management buyout deal. While previously under the watchful eye of Netdragon, it will now be run as a standalone venture.

‘Free from the corporate baggage that existed in the past, the newly united TNT 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 announced.

The newly-formed company will be led by Neopets fan Dominic Law, who previously worked with NetDragon on a variety of initiatives, including a poorly-received NFT game. With the transition to independent ownership, work on this metaverse-inspired game will be cancelled – with all assets and existing work being utilised to create a new social life simulation game for mobile, known as World of Neopets.

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According to the Neopets Team, World of Neopets will allow players to live their ‘ideal Neopian life from the perspective of a Neopet’ with decoration-filled Neohomes serving as a base for exploration of wider Neopia.

The Neopets Team has made clear that this version of the game will not contain crypto or NFTs of any kind – likely in a move to distance the project from its predecessor, which received largely negative feedback from franchise fans. Existing digital collectibles will remain online, and the new Neopets management has promised to continue supporting the Web3 community – but it appears this will no longer be the focus of Neopets endeavours.

Instead, the team will focus on improving the existing site, with the relaunch of Island Builders, an episodic adventure game spin-off, as well as a renewed focus on rebuilding parts of the Neopets website that became broken following the loss of Adobe Flash Player.

According to the team, the Neopets website will now be getting the refresh it’s needed for several years, with a new round of investment and funding allowing for these issues to be addressed.

‘We have a fresh round of investment and funding from the management buyout that will help us repair many of the community’s biggest concerns, such as broken games, unconverted pages, and bugs,’ the Neopets Team announced. ‘We’ve already hired new developers and artists who will work on fixing these issues, as well as working on our other Neopets projects … The new team is actively seeking community feedback to ensure we allocate these resources to the most pressing issues for players.’

While Neopets has reportedly been operating at a loss for the last decade, thanks to low player retention, ageing site features, limited funding, and broken games, the website’s new management appears hopeful that change is on the way, and that players can look forward to a renewed version of Neopets in future.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.