Neopets, the once-popular virtual pet game, is attempting to re-establish its relevance by dabbling in the contentious realm of NFTs. The NFT collection, dubbed “digital memorabilia,” will include virtual pets for gamers to purchase.
Neopets is a well-known example of early browser-based games, having debuted in 1999. Players acquire and manage the health of virtual pets, similar to Tamagotchi, as well as participate in minigames to win in-game goodies.
Players will be able to acquire 20,500 virtual pets produced by an algorithm in the collection. The creatures’ identities beyond their generation are unknown, but the message is obvious. JumpStart Games will offer NFTs of the pets in collaboration with Raydium, with purchasers basically paying real-world money to ostensibly possess a one-of-a-kind Neopet. The price has yet to be announced, but given the brief but illustrious history of pricey video game NFTs, they are likely to be expensive.
NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, have lately become the subject of intense controversy in the gaming industry as developers and publishers of all sizes join on board. NFTs are widely recognized for requiring a great deal of energy to manufacture and for leaving harmful environmental repercussions in their wake. Aside from the damage, the structure of NFTs prevents the object from being sold; an NFT is effectively a certificate stating that the buyer owns the item.
There is no way to show that the NFT is linked to the product if the NFT vendor’s servers go down. Applying this to a player economy that has deteriorated into a virtual pet black market might be problematic, since it adds yet another real-money transaction to the service.
The NFTs are expected to be released in mid-October, so the event will be underway quickly. Long-time gamers may be unhappy by the choice to engage in such an ecologically harmful trend, and the unfavorable reaction required a confirmation tweet from the official Neopets Twitter account, since some readers mistook the news release for a hoax.
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us regarding the new line of newly announced NFT’s. Please know that our partnership with Raydium, Solana, and Moonvault is legitimate! For more NFT Q&A, please visit us at: https://t.co/7qOM5b8ivr @Neopetsmeta pic.twitter.com/m69lZX3Fro
— neopets (@Neopets) September 23, 2021
The continued participation in NFTs by big game creators such as SEGA is becoming a difficult moral argument for gamers, as buying games from such publishers funds these initiatives to some extent.
Since its inception, NFTs have been perplexing and upsetting the gaming community, with some NFT-based products even copying art from small developers. Bit their popularity looks to be waning, it appears like they may still be around for a while longer. Until then, the unexpected initiatives of large game creators and publishers may lead to much greater harm.