Dominic Law, the new owner of Neopets, reminisces about the impact of the virtual pet website during his childhood, highlighting its ability to connect people globally. Law, now the CEO of World of Neopia, acquired Neopets for $4 million from NetDragon Websoft. Neopets, launched in 1999, garnered immense popularity, with 35 million monthly active users at its peak in 2005. Law acknowledges the lack of evolution in the game over the past decade due to poor management. Despite challenges, Neopets still boasts over a million active users and remains cash-generative.
Law’s team is working on restoring and modernizing the game, addressing issues like discontinued minigames. While acknowledging Neopets may not directly compete with current gaming giants, Law emphasizes its unique selling point as a living relic offering a different way to play games. Neopets, with its early internet gaming culture, aims to capitalize on nostalgia and the experience it provides that differs from contemporary gaming trends.
As part of a “reactivation campaign,” Law’s team is focused on winning back players through events, brand ambassadors like John Legend, and a fresh era for Neopets. The game’s familiarity lowers the cost of acquisition as Neopets taps into existing brand awareness. Law anticipates that many lapsed players will return as game features are fixed, citing increased user engagement and activity.
To ensure long-term financial stability, Law plans to license intellectual property for merchandise sales and develop new games. Merchandising, both physical and digital, is expected to contribute significantly to revenue. World of Neopets, a 3D simulator game set to launch in 2024, aims to provide a modern gaming experience while retaining elements of the original Neopets world. Law envisions it as a way to reignite childhood memories in a more contemporary gaming environment.
The overarching goal is to attract both returning and new players to the Neopets brand, ensuring its continued relevance and success.