Hello, there! Pardon the interruption. Before you get on to Jellyneo,
we have something important to share with you.
On September 22, 2021, the Neopets
Metaverse was unveiled as an NFT project in collaboration with
JumpStart, Cherrypicks, and Moonvaults.
From the moment of launch, Neopians took to the Neoboards and social
media to denounce the project, citing complaints about NFTs in general
and details specific to the Neopets Metaverse project.
The Neopets community overwhelmingly rejects the Neopets Metaverse NFT
project, and we at Jellyneo are standing in solidarity with this protest.
Read on to see why this project is not a good investment or adaptation
of the Neopets brand. And learn how you can join in on the protest.
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger,
called a blockchain, that certifies a digital asset to be unique and
therefore not interchangeable. NFTs can be used to represent items such
as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files. Access to
any copy of the original file, however, is not restricted to the buyer
of the NFT. While copies of these digital items are available for anyone
to obtain, NFTs are tracked on blockchains to provide the owner with a
proof of ownership that is separate from copyright.
A real-world equivalent of an NFT might be a slip of paper saying that
you purchased the Mona Lisa, and you can view it in the Louvre
Museum in Paris. If Leonardo da Vinci was still alive (and had painted
it recently, of course), he would still claim copyright ownership over
the Mona Lisa. However, if the Louvre ever shut down, you would
no longer be able to view it.
In other words, NFTs are digital slips of paper that name you as the
owner of some digital asset. However, you don't own the copyright to the
material—the original creator still has rights over your asset.
Accessing your NFT asset and maintaining its resale value is also dependent
on several organizations remaining online, functional, and in business.
Why don't Neopets players like the idea of NFTs?
No one from the Neopets community asked for them.
Ask any Neopian about their desires and ideas for how to grow and evolve the Neopets brand, and most likely, no one will mention NFTs.
No new major features or events have arrived in Neopia for years. Key Quest is still inactive. Lutari Island is still inaccessible. No new plots in nearly 3 years, and yearly recurring events are either postponed indefinitely or outright retired.
Two Neopets mobile apps have come and gone, with a third stuck in a 17 month (and counting) beta test.
The end of Adobe Flash was announced in June 2017 and finally retired in January 2021. Key features of the original Neopets game that were built with Flash remain dead, including navigational world maps, thousands of wearable clothing assets, and hundreds of mini-games.
Neopets.com has been in a site layout design beta test since April 2020, and there is no end in sight.
Of all the things that a Neopets player needs, an NFT project is not one of them.
You don't own your NFT Neopet—despite the Metaverse claiming it's yours.
You don't actually own the artwork being offered as an NFT. Neopets retains their copyright and will always have a claim to it.
Instead, you own a digital, verifiable slip of paper that points to a PNG image that Neopets owns.
A Neopets crypto-collectible project was tried before, and failed.
Neopets is no stranger to the crypto world. In 2018 a project called Neopets CryptoQuest was unveiled offering the sale of digital collectible trading cards. Only 1,819 packs of cards were sold, with base prices of $4.99 and $7.99 for standard and deluxe packs, respectively, down to $4.30 or $6.60 if purchased in bulk.
As of October 2021, all of the collectibles purchased through CryptoQuest are no longer accessible, as the marketplace they were sold through went out of business.
The project never saw integration with the core Neopets.com game, and was only officially mentioned once by The Neopets Team.
Just like the Metaverse, this project was unwanted and disliked by the Neopets community.
What are the problems with this particular project?
We have reason to believe The Neopets Team was not involved with the decision to license this project.
On the first full day of the project's opening, the official @neopets account on Twitter called the Metaverse an unaffiliated scam, presumably because they were not informed of its existence.
It took a full day for anything to be posted on the Neopets website, and it was merely a response to the outrage, not a pre-written announcement.
Therefore, we do not believe that TNT was prepared for this project's release; instead, it was a decision by JumpStart or NetDragon (the corporate owners of Neopets.com) to license the Neopets brand—and the corporate office did not consider their game's community.
If the team that runs Neopets.com was not involved from the start, how will a project like this succeed?
The Neopets Metaverse team has caused multiple controversies, from not respecting the Neopets brand to flat out homophobia.
First, on Twitter the Neopets Metaverse team tweeted congratulations to an R-rated project involving hedgehogs. Neopets is a family-friendly brand, and the Metaverse team doesn't align with this.
Second, shortly after the project's unveiling, it was found out that
the "sample" NFT images found on NeopetsMetaCollection.com
were generated using fellow fansite Dress To Impress.
How did this come to light? The Dimensional Kougra showcased was
displayed with green spots instead of its usual blue outline, and the
green-spotted colouring is unique to a glitch on the pre-2020 version
of Dress to Impress—not something seen on Neopets.com. Shortly
after this was pointed out, the Dimensional Kougra was quietly replaced
with a Chocolate Kougra. (See below.) The Neopets Metaverse team has
yet to acknowledge or apologize for using Dress to Impress for its
Left: Original sample NFT, from DTI. Right: Quietly replaced sample, probably also from DTI.
Third, in the Neopets Metaverse Discord server, no action was taken for several hours against an anti-gay slur posted in the chat. The moderation team adopted a dismissive attitude, calling the complaints about the slur FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt—used frequently to discredit other users), as well as banning the word "gay." This contravenes the image Neopets has tried to cultivate as a brand that acknowledges and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community. The moderator at the center of this controversy remained in their position for a full 6 days after until they were removed. At time of writing, only TNT has posted an apology, not the Neopets Metaverse team.
Fourth, Neopets Metaverse moderators—still at time of writing—have taken no action on various complaints of misgendering and racist comments reported by Neopians in the Metaverse Discord server. Moderation of the server seems to be very hands off, with only Neopians complaining about the project receiving any pushback from the mods.
The lack of Neopets knowledge and absence of professionalism should raise some serious questions about the ability for this project to succeed.
The artwork being used is already available on Neopets.
The artwork being sold under this project is using existing Neopets artwork that you can assemble yourself on Neopets.com.
It's generative artwork, meaning it's created completely randomly. Based on the samples seen so far at NeopetsMetaCollection.com, you will in all likelihood end up with something ugly and unsellable. Not only that, but the Neopet generated can be easily recreated by just about any Neopets user.
The fact that it's random wearables tossed on a random Neopet is so silly, we've created our own NFTopets below! See below for how you can adopt one for free in protest.
A new version of Neopia will be created focused solely on purchasing NFTs and giving up control of the Neopets brand.
On October 7th, a roadmap for a game in which you can use your NFT Neopets was released. The goal is to fork Neopia, recreating it as a new "blockchain" game separate from Neopets.com. The roadmap is light on any specifics, but the first phase includes turning all game assets into tokens you must purchase with cryptocurrency. It seems to be a purely pay-to-play game.
Historically, the core Neopets experience has always been free-to-play. Any features that require money have been additional features, and players aren't charged for features that have previously been free. Your daily trips to the Giant Omelette will cost real money in the Metaverse.
Additionally, the roadmap proposes decentralizing the new Neopets game, giving control of its features, development, and assets over to the NFT community. Consistent lore? Family-friendly content? None of that is guaranteed in a user-run version of Neopia. In effect, JumpStart is giving up the Neopets brand.
Here's how you can join the protest:
Want to make sure another project like this doesn't get off the ground in
the future? Here are some easy ways to get your voice heard.
❌ Stop spending money on Neopets!
Money talks, as the saying goes. The best way to show Neopets and JumpStart
that this type of project is not acceptable is by closing your wallet.
🛑 Stop purchasing new Neocash cards from any source.
❌ Do not purchase any officially licensed merchandise, including from Geekify, What's Your Passion, and NeopetsShop.com
🗑 Uninstall the Neopets: Island Builders app if you have it, and do not spend money on any in-app purchases.
💸 Mint your own NFTopet for free!
Since the artwork being sold by the Neopets Metaverse is so simple, we're
using our vast data set from the
to "mint" our own NFTs—all for free! Adopt yours below to share
on Neopets or social media.
UPDATE: The minting period is now closed! To celebrate,
we have decided to "burn" all of our free NFTopets...
📝 Update your Neoboards signature!
We have a nifty Neoboards font that you can use to spread awareness and
support the protest. Feel free to customise! If anyone asks, you can direct
them to jellyneo.net/nfts
to get it for themselves!