For context, this was first announced yesterday in an article on PR Newswire found here. Neopets themselves have not contributed any additional commentary on it yet, but today the official Neopets twitter account retweeted the article:
The Neopets twitter account also started following this Neopets Metaverse account, all of this basically confirming that this is legit.
There's still confusion on who knows what, since TNT has given basically no confirmation outside of these actions. I've also seen speculation that JumpStart made this decision without informing TNT about any of it, and that they found out basically the same time the user base did. There's a thread on tumblr that includes a DM conversation with the Neopets twitter account before they retweeted that seems to support this theory:
As of right now, I can't find the original source/person who participated in this conversation, so take this screenshot with whatever sized grain of salt you feel appropriate.
Either way, though, the fact that JumpStart went through with this decision is disheartening to me. Even if one ignored the harms of NFT's, this feels really telling of how JS views Neopets as a viable product. It doesn't seem like JS has any actual faith in Neopets, but instead is trying to squeeze money out of it while they still can with whatever market trends they can chase. If they cared about longterm customer loyalty with the brand, they might've actually considered for a minute if this was an appropriate product to market to the Neopets userbase.
There's been a ton of backlash about this already, even before Neopets retweeted that article. People have been sending criticisms through all venues, cancelling premium memberships, redesigning Neo OC's so they bear no resemblance to the original property, etc. Even if JumpStart reversed this decision, I don't know how or if Neopets may recover. I don't think the site will implode or suddenly shut down (I feel like the latter would be too much hassle/expensive for JS to consider rn), but this still feels like a big blow to the brand that I don't think they'll shake.
Post by Ian Wolf-Park on Sept 24, 2021 0:29:41 GMT -5
It's been briefly mentioned in the news, and there's a Neoboard topic on it from the Official Neopets Team Message Board, so the announcement if now 'legit' (to put it lightly).
Still, I'm not sure this is a great idea, even if the company they paired up with is 'environmentally friendly'. With the partnership, they're essentially breaking the one rule themselves (in a way) that is currently plaguing the site, which is Play Neopets with honesty and fairness. To quote the Rules and Guidelines themselves: This includes buying and selling Neopoints, Neopets, Accounts, or NP items for real money.
Yes, the pets are going to be randomly selected, but it's also likely that one of our pets that we worked hard on would be randomly chosen and showcased, without our knowledge. How is that going to be fair to the existing playerbase? Honestly, I'm not surprised by the vast amount of vitriol towards this, as this feels like a huge slap in the face.
The crypto pusher accounts on the hell social network keep repeating that the blockchain used by Neopets is less environmentally damaging, and I do not think that matters one bit, because
* from sources I've seen so far, all it does is use less energy than the other blockchains, wow, congratulations on meeting this very very low bar
* it uses less energy FOR. THE. MOMENT.
* the vocal minority who are actually enthusiastic about these very fungible tokens do not seem to be actual Neopets players
and, most importantly:
* the fungus token enthusiasts advertise themselves as COLLECTORS. Meaning that, even if this technology was actually more environmentally friendly than "wastes less power on scamming people for jpegs than the others", all it does is feed a system that will encourage people to keep feeding their ... whatever this trade does for them. And they sure don't sound like they want to buy only one of the things and if it was only one, I doubt it would be a Neopets one. And they sure don't sound like they care enough to purchase the darn things only from possibly less environmentally damaging sources. Like. I'm just saying from looking at those accounts that participated in the discussion below Neopets' retweet, but. That really doesn't seem like those people's priority.
Hey, here's a line I'm now eligible to use. *deep breath* AS A VERY CONCERNED PARENT...
...okay, what we're looking at is a site that's been, throughout its very long history, so heavily focused on maintaining child-friendliness that they still exercise immensely draconian broad-sweep chat filters on the Neoboards, keep a heavy lid on offsite linking and have made us creative types jump through vaguely communicated hoops as regards to what is and isn't okay in the NT for as long as I can remember. However, we should totally partner up with the newest hottest sketchy pyramid scheme, that is absolutely the thing fresh-faced teenagers need to learn to do and appreciate via our boards.
Whether or not this falls through is even somewhat secondary (show of hands, how many people are likely to be interested in crypto baseball cards featuring *adjusts glasses* "algorithmically created lovable Neopets" minus the actual baseball card part when you come right down to it? How are they even imagining there's a market for this kind of thing? It's Dress to Impress that costs money and that you don't get to choose the outcome of.) The environmental impact of it is also... well, it's an important debate and I don't want that to be sidelined and there seems to be a lot of willful distracting going on in regards to where Solana falls on the sliding scale of horrible.
But predominantly, as Twillie already said, the sheer fact that they're even attempting it is skeevy and incredibly tone-deaf. It goes to show that their grasp of what Neopets is supposedly all about doesn't extend beyond "pretty pictures that people might pay for IF ONLY we find the right angle to milk them, what's the newest trend we could glom onto?" Without realizing that the price to pay if it falls through is much higher than just "didn't profit". It's an active loss of trust, and faith, and damage to the brand, and people with disposable income wondering if they want to support a company like that (hi!) and parents wondering if they would try and get their kids involved in a site they themselves used to like (also hi!) and I'm pretty sure I was better at reading the market back when I was hawking radioactive bras on the 'bloids in 2006 forcryingoutloud.
Post by Blueysicle on Sept 24, 2021 11:58:57 GMT -5
I feel like every opinion I have on this has been said better by countless other people, including those in this very thread, but don't mind me while I spend a couple cents on a broken record player.
For the sake of argument, let's say that I read TNT's response on the Neoboards at face value, and pretend that I believe them that these specific NFTs are made by an "environmentally friendly" company* and that their production won't negatively affect or impede the site in any way. Let's put those points aside, and look at the point that still remains:
No one wanted this.
Nobody playing Neopets in the year 2021, who knows jack about NFTs or cryptocurrency or whatever, thought to themselves, "Things like HTML5 games, customization, a working mobile site, physical merchandise, or my own actual Neopets don't interest me much, but I'm really excited about these randomized images of uninteractable pets with mismatching clothes that I have to pay real money for, even though I could go on Dress to Impress and get the same image for free." From just a brief glance at the Neoboards, I've seen maybe two or three people having anything close to even a neutral opinion on these NFTs. And as Liou said, the only ones I've seen looking forward to them do not actually play Neopets. Among the active playerbase, this is a near-universally reviled decision.
So basically, somebody high up on the chain of command in Jumpstart/Netdragon (As what I've seen thus far suggests that the actual members of TNT that run Neopets on a day-to-day business have little to nothing to do with this) looked at a website running on nostalgia and held together by duct-tape, and played almost solely by people that have been there for decades and are too stubborn to leave, and did the stupidest thing possible by alienating their remaining playerbase in favor of people that will likely buy the NFTs and have nothing else to do with the actual Neopets website, before the whole project crashes and burns like Neopets Cryptoquest did.
Like, I hate doomsaying and people have been crying about the downfall of Neopets since the day I signed up in 2003, but if Jumpstart/Netdragon is this desperate and/or greedy that they think this is the best thing to do with the Neopets brand, that doesn't really give me optimism for the future of the site.
*(And would my suspicions of such a description being misleading or outright false be correct?)
Last Edit: Sept 24, 2021 12:24:00 GMT -5 by Blueysicle
Post by Lord Hayati on Sept 24, 2021 14:29:47 GMT -5
one sickening thing I've seen on the neoboards is a ton of people with shell accounts (like 1 week old, with a maraquan lutari) shilling for NFTs, saying that regardless of the database (and they don't care about the fanbase) its good for them
I have a feeling TNT might have fallen for a big scam.
what is with js/netdragon and digital tokens, haven't they done something similar before that didn't go anywhere?
REVIEWS of MONI ★☆☆☆☆ "The worst person I've ever met." -- Sister, 2k18 "Literally garbage." - Scrappy, 2k17 "0/10 lol what is this." - Country Queen, 2k16 "0/10 this writer sucks." - Droplet, 2k14 neopets | NT
what is with js/netdragon and digital tokens, haven't they done something similar before that didn't go anywhere?
Yeah, in 2018 they did this thing called Cryptoquest, where you'd buy collectable virtual cards for rare prize codes, and where people could trade and sell these cards with other users. I'm unfamiliar with most everything that happened as I hadn't heard of it until people brought it up in light of the NFT news, but there's some basic articles on it from fansites at least.
The company they partnered with went out of business soon after this event and whose site has been sold and now shows inappropriate content, which I can't say is a good sign for how well things probably went for Cryptoquest.
Well, now I really wish I was here years ago instead of taking a couple of long, unannounced hiatuses when cryptocurrency was not yet a thing, let alone on the table. Because I returned to Neopets just in time for this.
Like. Any reason you could possibly give to support NFTs would fall flat on its face. "Environmentally friendly"? No, they still expend energy which could be used for more productive and philanthropic goals, and they will still leave a mark on the environment. The space those machines and stuff take up could have been put to better use.
More funds? There are so many ways to squeeze money out for Neopets. Merchandise, NC Mall wearables, re-releasing limited NC items, adding more premium features, releasing the most-awaited pet slots and UCs in the mall, the list goes on. Geekify and WYP seem to be doing fairly well on the merch scene.
Attracting new players? Get real. Neopets is way past its prime and they're better off putting their energy into maintaining the playerbase they already have. This is the age of mobile apps, streaming services, video game streaming, and *shudders* Tiktok. Honestly that TV show they said they were planning could have lured curious folks (and turned in a few bucks I GUESS but anyway). Neopets should really treat its customers better considering that they're the ones keeping this site from going belly up with some mixture of nostalgia and disposable income.
If I wanted ugly random pet customizations I could do them myself whether with Dress to Impress or with my current crop of wearables, thank you very much.
But most importantly, Neopets has always taught us not to scam, and yet here it is, supporting quite possibly the biggest scam in techno-history. And for what? A few bucks they could easily make from premium subscriptions, NC Mall goodies and most importantly, more pet slots and actual legit UCs. And I would like to end this post by saying I cancelled premium. I can't give my money to Neopets anymore if they are supporting NFTs and worse, not listening to the playerbase uproar. Come on, you guys were so good with listening to people for Dyeworks, pet day colors and wearables...this is a bigger decision and you'd think they would seek out their playerbase's opinion even more.