Neopets STEPS IT UP!

“This is a completely new experience, but centered around the Neopets concept and game play,” explained Neopets Senior Vice President & General Manager Kyra Reppen.  “World of Neopia will bring what was formerly a page-based static experience into a rich, immersive world.  Players can be closer to their Neopet by living its experience, so to speak, as it walks through various lands, goes on various quests, and interacts with other characters in Neopia. “

Key Quest, as well as other games, will be a part of the larger experience, which will also feature   quests, customization, mini-games, player-to-player trading, a virtual economy, and user-generated content.

The target audience is tweens between 9 and 14, which makes up the bulk of current Neopets users.

“We foresee our current audience picking right up with this new experience,” said Reppen.  “Of course we also hope it attracts new users both young and old. The new graphical experience is also anticipated to be even more accessible to kids while offering older players even more interaction with each other and the world.”

Set to launch some time in the next 12 months, Neopia has a hybrid business model of advertising as well as a “paid layer.”  Like Neopets, it will remain Web-based to promote accessibility.

Virtual Worlds News: Interview: Nickelodeon Launches First Neostudios World: World of Neopia

Woot!  STEPS IT UP.  I am so pleased to hear this.  Neopets has such a unique IP, and to see it so hack-jawed… I know that’s what established them with the kids, but it’s getting trounced in cool factor. 

This is so exciting.  I can’t wait to see how they step it up.  Why?  Because– regardless of their so-so dynamic/static world existence… they do have some great play patterns & imagination story cues.  They have fairy, dinosaur, outer space, under water, pirates– etc etc etc play patterns.  Plus, the do the tournament play, looking into trading, continuation of their community-based quests, and have worked in GREAT elements of UGC (actual cartoons created BY kids about NEOPETS brand characters). 

If they do it right, they could really make a unique impact on our current market. 

Having kids HOME MAKE cartoons — that’s huge.  It’s NOT easy.  Trust.  That kind of effort & evangelism… and to get so many APPROPRIATE submissions?  Nice. 

I home they’re able to correct their ad revenue system w the linked ads of vagueness and sketchitude, and I’m looking forward to the possibility of merging their two economic systems (pay as you go tokens for cool stuff & lame tokens for everything else). 

Anyone else have more thoughts?

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