A weekend with no new updates was followed up by a Monday-afternoon notice of a lay-off that hit The Neopets Team (TNT). The CEO of JumpStart wrote that despite the downsizing, the company is still “committed to the success of Neopets.”
Late afternoon on Monday, official news of the lay-off hit the Neopets’ facebook page and the “The Official Neopets Team Message Board” on the Neopets’ forums. Fan resource Jellyneo originally posted with limited information on March 8th.
The post explains that a “a number of respected employees working on Neopets are no longer with the company,” the site is not closing, and that the company is working to establish new goals for Neopets.
Here is the post in its entirety:
To our Neopets Members and Community:
Unfortunately, a recent restructuring of our resources means a number of respected employees working on Neopets are no longer with the company. JumpStart appreciates each and every one of our employees, and it was a sad day to have to say goodbye to our friends. While it’s disheartening to see team members leaving the company, we are incredibly thankful for everything they have done to create Neopets.com and the passionate community that surrounds the site.
Moving forward, we want to make it absolutely and unequivocally clear that we are committed to Neopets! Neopets is NOT CLOSING in any way. To the contrary, we plan to produce new content, update the site, and dedicate valuable resources towards improving site functionality, including lag and site stability. In fact, the recent launch of Neopets Ghoul Catchers on the iTunes and Facebook platforms confirms our dedication to launching new and exciting content for existing and new Neopets users.
As we move forward and establish new goals for Neopets, we want the community to know that we are fully committed to the success of Neopets. We will work to support, improve and expand Neopets with our best resources and most creative minds. We thank you for your unwavering support of Neopets and we believe you will be as excited about the future as we are.
We wish all of the amazing former Neopets team members the very best life has to offer and we are grateful for their time at Jumpstart.
– David Lord, CEO of JumpStart
The announcements followed a weekend without the usual official updates on the “New Features” section of the Neopets homepage. Typically weekends have a Saturday & Sunday combined post.
JumpStart purchased Neopets from Viacom in 2014. The “Habitarium” mini-game was removed along with the Petpet Park platform between April and September.
Neopets’ databases and servers migrated to JumpStart in September. Server-response time and lag grew during this time.
Since the transition, portions of Neopets no longer display accurate information. For instance, the “Players Online” and “Total Neopets” count on the home page are frozen. The “Neofriends (Beta!)” applet on the sidebar of every page on Neopets still displays the users who were online immediately before the migration.
Not the first to go
TNT members began leaving their employment before the server migration. One in specific was droplet, the author cannot pinpoint other declarations and thus will not mention them.
Before February 2015, each weekend “New Features” update included a new Neopian Times issue. The Neopian Times is a newsletter that features fan-submitted content and a question-answer section where TNT responds to top questions of the week. This section, called the “editorial” is one of the few locations on Neopets where admins give feedback on the status of game development and management.
The last new Neopian Times’ Issue was released on February 14, 2015. The news on February 21st & 22nd’s included a notice that the Neopian Times would be on hiatus while the editor took an “extended leave of absence”.
The Times’ editor, also known as “Droplet”, posted on The Neopian Times Writers’ Forum fansite on February 13 stating that she is on maternity leave. However, she also said that the Times’ publishing schedule should remain on track, “the NT should be just as normal.”
The commitment the CEO left the statement on was that Neopets is still seeing development and the recent releasal of Neopets Ghoul Catchers is evidence of that. The game can be downloaded on the iTunes store and played on Facebook through a user workaround. An android version is rumored to be in development.
This blog will be updated as more news about Neopets is released.