OH Snap! Tweens Smack down on Neopets begins!
Apparently ever since the Viacom acquisition of Neopets in 2005, a series of pay-to-play services have been announced on the site effectively breaking the “always free” promise. Ever since, a group of disgruntled prepubescent Neopians have started to spam the site and bombard the company phone lines in a move similar to that of Digg. Based on the rants of a few members, the $8 a month charge is a frontal assault on the users piggy banks.CrunchGear will continue to closely monitor the event, and bring you up to date news on the hour.
On July 3rd the face of Neopets was changed forever, it completely broke its promise that the site would always and forever remain free. What broke this promise? The new NC Mall, a new feature that greedily asks users to pay REAL money in exchange for Neocash, a fake currency use to buy fake VIRTUAL clothing items for their pets.
Again, this feature completely breaks the promise that the website will always and forever remain free. Where have they made that promise? Let us list a few pages:
- The old Neopets Home Page
The last link also states that forcing users to buy things with credit cards puts some users at a disadvantage. Some other things wrong with the Mall? To list a few:
- Users that are unable to pay for items do not have the chance to dress up their pets nearly as much.
- Viacom, Neopets parent company, makes MILLION in profit every financial Quarter, and Neopets makes enough money WITHOUT the Mall to run and expand the site.
- The Mall is ONLY there to make profit, and all o the items involved could EASILY be placed in normal Neopian shops to be purchased with Neopoints, the Neopets virtual currency.
And users also state the mall is only the spark that ignited the flame. Ever since the Viacom acquisition in 2005, several new money-driven features have arrived. Here is a list:
- Neopets Mobile – A cell-phone game that gives users who pay every month exclusive access to a Neopian world, Lutari Island and an easy way to get the coveted Lutari Neopet. Users who are unable to pay, live in the wrong country, or have the wrong cell phone carrier have no way to access the Island, even though it is listed on the Neopian World Map.
- Neopets Premium – A feature that allows those who pay $8 a month get exclusive access to many areas of the site, along with a premium portal. Again, those who are unable to pay have no way to get access to those features.
- Commercialism – A lack of user interaction in the decisions of the website has ensues since the Viacom acquisition. Before Viacom bought the site in 2005, users would often be able to vote for new pet redesigns and other features. Also, Neopets staff would often communicate about every glitch or problem in the site and help users. now that only happens if there is a major problem, and even some of those get ignored.
What are Neopets users doing about it?
- Calling the numbers (1-877-NEOPIAN) and (1-Ghostbusters!), both Neopets phone numbers, and expressing their opinions about the Website. The resulting bombardment forced neopets to supposedly temporarily end
pull the plug on their phone lines.
- Changing their avatars to Bleh! and bombarding many areas of the site with their hate has led to censorship of many areas of the site, and wasted time for Neopets Staff.
- Getting the word of the rebellion into the media (As I am now!) gives Neopets and Viacom a bad name.
- Watching private staff member blogs and otherwise causing displeasure to Neopets employees is also helping.
- More drastic measures could be taken, but are not being taken now.
The root of the problem? Viacom.
Again. OH SNAP! And here’s a Neopets Guild’s information on how to rebel (also worth checking out: faqs & testamonials- they’re great):
Blocking the Commercialism.Here are a couple ways to block the NC Mall from your browser!
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