Skip to main content

Neopets to revamp its classic game. First step? Fix the economy

It's trickier than you think

Promotional image of Neopets against a green and rainbow background
Image credit: Neopets

In the late '90s and early '00s, Neopets was a small phenomenon on the budding internet. Capitalizing on the cutesy pet fad spurred on by Tamagotchi and Pokemon, Neopets created a digital world where fans (like me) could adopt neopets, play games to earn neopoints, and use those neopoints to buy and sell items. But over time (and as people grew up), the fun faded.

Though the site does still feature a group of dedicated players, over the past few years, especially after Adobe Flash Player went defunct in 2020, the website has gone into disrepair. The site has also had a few bumps in the road, with data breach incidents and a controversial excursion into the NFT arena, which has damaged the site's reputation. But Neopets has a new CEO now, and he wants to launch the site back into its glory days.

Popverse had a chance to speak to Neopet's CEO Dominic Law (himself a Neopets fan since childhood) about his plans to refurbish and make it accessible for fans to return and experience some classic internet nostalgia.

The Plan

The plan that Law shared with us seems to be to focus first on rebuilding the classic game. "Our near-term goal is to fix the classic game as much as we [can], creating an infrastructure which includes a login system - better security, trying to fix the economy and improving the quality of life for our gamers," Law told Popverse, but one particular part of the goals Law listed stood out to us as particularly interesting: fixing the economy.

What's wrong with the Neopets economy?

Promotional image for Neopets
Image credit: Neopets

It may seem silly to worry about a video games' in-world economy, but the economy does present an issue for those interested in playing Neopets. For someone returning to Neopets as Flash games are put back into working order or even creating a new account and playing for the first time, the world of Neopia may not be as accessible as it once was - at least if you're trying to buy anything.

The in-site economy has been hit with some serious inflation problems. Law points out that this problem is not unique to Neopets, though it may have been made worse with Neopets' long history: "The gaming economies and inflationary problems happen in almost all MMORPG onlne games. For a game that has lived on for close to 25 years, it's a particularly unique and challenging situation that we're in."

Law specifically cited the last ten years, when "a lot more experienced players have been able to aquire or amass a huge wealth inside the economy, and because of the lack of upgrades and design in the game... All this contributes to making a lot of items less attainable because new users coming in, they wont be able to amass enough wealth of neopoints to purchase a lot of the high value items, and collecting these items are often ultimate motivators for why a lot of people play Neopets." In other words, unless you've been collecting your interest every over the past ten years to amass millions and millions of neopoints, you're unlikely to be able to buy and collect items in Neopets - one of the game's biggest draws.

As for whether or not Law and his new team will be able to fix Neopets' economy, we'll have to wait and see. But one thing's for sure - as of now, a big part of Neopets is just not accessible for new players.

Pokemon Concierge star Non explains her character's emotional path in Netflix stop animation series
Featured events