Neopets was one of the hottest destinations on the World Wide Web of the early 2000s, but the audience for its virtual pets has been in decline for years now. Neopets itself has declined, too, admit its developers, who say they’ve had to “work tirelessly just to barely keep the site afloat” while operating at a loss for the past 10 years. Things are going to turn around soon though, say the devs, because for the first time since 2005, Neopets is an independent company again.
Viacom bought Neopets for $160 million near its peak in 2005, and in 2014 sold it to US edutainment company JumpStart, which was later acquired by Chinese game developer NetDragon. For undisclosed reasons, NetDragon shut down JumpStart last month, and Neopets might’ve gone with it had it not been saved by a “management buyout deal,” according to a blog post from the newly reorganized Neopets development team.
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