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ONTD Original: Neopets - Where Are They Now?


If you haven't tuned in to the virtual pet site Neopets in a while, you probably missed the biggest 'WHOOPS!' known to the site; The chat filters were disabled over the weekend, introducing Neopians to vulgarity the likes of which some users have never seen.

I know what you're thinking - "Neopets is still around?". Indeed, but as a glitchy shell of it's former self. The events of the 27th and 28th of June was a mix of children running wild to a variety of pent up anger over the site's declining run, after changing various hands from one company to another, each less interested than the last.

So sit back, push down the crushing guilt of having not fed your Neopets in seven years, and take a walk down memory lane.

November 15th, 1999 - created by who the users would affectionately call Adam and Donna, Neopets.com is born. And it took to the web like gangbusters, an alternative for college kids who could have no pets in dorms, or simply wanted something to do.

With the buyout by Doug Dohring in Februrary of 2000, the site turned into a business, Neopets, Inc. Physical merchandise hit the shelves - a trading card game, a magazine, and various plushies that, in retrospect, cost way too much at 12.50$ a pop from Limited Too;

I honor a nation currently in anarchy #neopets

I honor a nation currently in anarchy #neopets
This little site caught the eye of Viacom - the same Viacom that owns Nickelodeon and BET - and on June 20th, 2005, Neopets, Inc. had a new owner. The site went beyond what anyone had expected, with games for the Playstation 2 and Playstation Portable (something else that quietly died in the night). Toys in kid's meals world wide, tiny Polly-Pocket like creations, a primitive mobile game that netted you a secret avatar to use!

But the Golden Age of Neopia came to an end, as all ages must.

On April 27, 2007, Neopia changed for the stranger. The homepage changed from a few simple sidebars and top banners to its present incarnation of side and top bars with sharp edges;

From the Wikipedia page.

And the pets changed. All of them, unless you were one of the lucky few who had a choice, because the change was just too different. Just so they could wear some clothes, thousands of items which had populated the site since creation, having no use to the player outside of Faerie Quests. Some suffered the mildest of effects,

while others...
Both sets of images from SunnyNeo.net
But what if you didn't have clothes? What if your Neopets, now fully aware of being more than animals, demanded you buy them some gaudy shirt to wear?

Well, take a stroll to the NC Mall! Where your real cash could buy some fake clothing!

So now your pet can look like this;

This entire thing became a Base Breaker that lasted for years. Lots of people were angry that the unique styles of the pets had given way to odd side-fist positions.

 In those years, Adam and Donna left the site they had created...but hey, we got a virtual soccer tournament in the form of the Altador Cup. A repetitive game with representatives from all 16 Neopian lands, it started with a bang and eventually descended into a heavily rigged and biased tournament between the scoring algoritm and a secret league of players using unsavory methods.

Viacom also pushed for more 'games within games' on the site.

Petpet park was a continuation of the inane senselessness of the titular beings, pets your Neopets could own.

The Habitarium was like a bug farm, where you basically raised Petpetpets for Neopoints, the currency in the Neopian Economy (Which is an entire other beast of how badly it degraded over the years. Remember Draik Potions being at the very least, more than ten million Neopoints? Well, they're around 350k now.).

Keyquest was a board game, playing with tokens of pets one redeemed from buying more plushies in the real world, or from the NC Mall. It was a pretty good way to make money and fairly entertaing, a rarity in present - day Neopia.

But all of these aspects are pretty much no more, now that Jumpstart owns the site.

The third buyout took place in March of 2014, and many old time users were wary. Are we going to stop staring at this mid '00's get up? Will plots come back? Can we get some more tangible merchandise? Will someone fix this goddamn economy?

In short; No. In fact, Jumpstart let go some iconic members of staff (this link may lead to an empty board, probably having been purged) people who had been with the site from almost the very beginning. Downtime was frequent, lag even more so. User-input pages would go down for months. The Neoboards, once thriving hubs of activity where many a young one learned about the cruelties of the net, had boards left up for days, when a good one would 'asplode' in a matter of hours, topped at 500 posts.

And the Neoboards is where we find ourselves today.

Now, we of ONTD have seen - and frankly, said and done - worse than what's coming up. But fair warning - this is Not Safe For Work. I left the worst ones at the links that follow the images.

June 26th - the board moderators went home, a freshly - installed filter for the Neoboards installed - can't have those pesky kids saying the word 'uncle' now, can we?

Or so they thought.

On the contrary, once word picked up about the fallen filters, people came from all over the web to watch their childhood hangout go up in flames;

Events got far more vulgar, with references to mass murders, hate groups, and bigoted talk, spreading from the Neoboards to petpages, lookups, and pet names.

Throughout the weekend, parents and players alike went to the Neopets Facebook page to voice their concerns about the inappropriate hubbub. Inquiries went unanswered until Monday, June 29th, when a post appeared;

People were rightfully angry that young children were subjected to that. Many of the shitposters were old time users, people with years of work behind them willing to throw it all away because the site had because a soulless corporate machine that was constantly in a state of disrepair.

At present, the site had been avalible briefly Monday morning and down for most of Tuesday, June 30th. You still have time to get over there and whisper a small "Goodbye." to your childhood.

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