The Neopets developers recently revealed on their website they create NFTs for over twenty thousand custom animals, all in partnership with several blockchain companies. So far, the public response from past and present members of the community has been extremely negative.
Neopets is an adoptable pet-friendly website where users can play mini-games, collect virtual items, and join communities of friends. At the height of his popularity, Neopets had more than 25 million users, 80% of whom are minors. A whole generation of savvy web surfers spent much of their childhood on Neopets, which is why they’re not happy to see its developers handing over the beloved IP to cryptocurrency investors.
Non-fungible tokens (commonly called NFT), on the other hand, are cryptocurrency tokens which represent a digital work of art. Cryptocurrency has proven to be disastrous for the environment. According to The edge, a single GIF of a cat had the carbon footprint of an EU resident’s electricity consumption for two months. When sold in bulk, NFTs can have even broader environmental consequences. The Sierra Club environmental organization complaints that a year of carbon production from Bitcoin (one of the most popular cryptocurrencies) was equivalent to New Zealand’s annual footprint.
So why do it? Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are drawn to the higher prices of NFT artwork, which has sold for sums as large as $ 69 million. Not all NFTs can charge such prices, and the Neopets The NFTs have not yet been published. There is no guarantee that Neopets NFTs will be a profitable investment. What matters is that the Neopets the owners to believe that they could make huge profits, even if it comes at the expense of the environment.
Neopets’ partner companies are now producing NFTs which are images of adoptable pets, except that they are “digital keepsakes” (which probably means you can’t actually use them as pets on the spot) . Each comes with a randomly generated background, personality, assets, and clothing. Thus, buyers will have their own image of a decorated Neopet, which they could already do by creating a free account on the website. One example is an Acara robot wearing a straw hat and black cape, standing against a pale blue background. Another is a flaming Draik in a brass hat and blue overalls. None of them are as decorated as the pets many players have on the real one. Neopets website.
Neopets devs claims their blockchain investors are more environmentally friendly, but it’s hard to take it seriously when their only related sources are the websites of cryptocurrency companies that could arguably benefit from such a partnership.
Popular fan site Neopets Jellyneo (active since 2004) sees the partnership as a quick grab:
Earlier this year, Neopets had a problem with black market pirates steal regular pets of website users. Neopets had also previously tried an NFT game called Neopets Cryptoquest in 2018. Players could purchase virtual card packs redeemable for prizes. The game was finally retired within a year.
Hopefully the same result awaits the NFT collaboration.