Neopets, renowned for its virtual pet simulator web game, grabbed attention when it ventured into the NFT gaming space, receiving significant backing of $4 million in crypto funding. Surprisingly, the much-awaited Neopets Metaverse was abruptly canceled, leaving the community in bewilderment and pondering the reasons behind such a sudden and drastic decision. Instead, the company has now set its sights on developing a non-crypto mobile game called “World of Neopets,” further fueling curiosity among fans about the motivations behind this notable shift in direction.
Just a few months ago, Neopets’ CEO, Dominic Law, enthusiastically discussed the play-and-earn concept in Web3 gaming and the exciting possibilities of incorporating NFTs into the Neopets franchise. During that time, the alpha version of Neopets Metaverse was actively under development, garnering considerable attention with more than 9,000 Solana NFT sales. The project also caught the interest of prominent investors, including Polygon Ventures and Avalanche’s ecosystem fund, who saw great potential in its vision.
In a blog post, the Neopets Team, also known as TNT, disclosed their decision to move away from NFTs and instead develop a game that resonates more with their values and the desires of their community. They emphasized that this was not a hasty choice and was made after careful consideration. With a fresh leadership team led by Dominic Law as CEO, the company announced its newfound independence after 18 years and will now operate under the name World of Neopia, Inc.
Despite the cancellation, Neopets showed gratitude for the support it received for its NFT collectibles and assured NFT holders of perks they will receive. These perks encompass in-game currency and exclusive digital items on the platform. However, there are still unanswered questions concerning refunds and the benefits that NFT holders can expect in the upcoming game.
The decision to move away from NFTs was influenced by the backlash from certain community members who perceived NFT games as dubious. Additionally, many community members expressed disapproval of the NFT community in general. Neopets encountered harsh criticism not only from its own community but also from various publications. Some even described its NFT venture as “harmful” and likened it to “fracking your child’s memories.”
Having once placed faith in the potential of NFTs and play-to-earn features, Neopets has now veered towards a different direction. This strategic shift reflects the dynamic nature of the crypto world and the company’s acknowledgment of the significance of prioritizing the desires of its fanbase, ensuring a promising future for Neopets.