The once popular virtual pet game Neopets Plunging into the controversial world of NFTs is attempting to be relevant once again. Designed as “digital memorabilia” the NFT collection will feature virtual pets for interested players to purchase.
Neopets, first launched in 1999, is an iconic example of an early browser-based game. Similar to Tamagotchi, players collect and maintain the health of virtual pets as well as participate in minigames to earn in-game items.
The collection will contain 20,500 virtual pets for players to purchase, all generated by an algorithm. Details on pets beyond their generation have been left unclear, but the message is clear. Partnering with Radium, Jumpstart Games will be selling pet NFTs, with buyers essentially paying real-life money to own a unique Neopet. The price has not yet been disclosed, but a brief history of expensive video game NFTs indicates that they could be expensive.
Non-fungible tokens, known as NFTs, have recently become a source of heated debate in gaming as developers and publishers jump big and small on the trend. NFTs are known to take enormous amounts of power to make themselves, leading to disastrous environmental consequences. On top of the disadvantages, the way NFTs are structured means that the item itself cannot be sold; NFT is essentially a certificate which indicates that the buyer is the owner of the said item.
If the NFT vendor’s servers are down, there is no way to prove that the NFT is linked to the product. Implementing this in a player economy that has evolved into a virtual pet black market can be troublesome, as it offers another real money avenue through the service.
The launch of the NFT is pointed for mid-October, so it will not take long for the event to set in motion. The decision to partake in such an environmentally destructive trend may have disappointed longtime players, and the negative reaction even prompted a confirmation post from the official Neopets Twitter account as some readers believed the press release to be fake. The ongoing decision by large game developers such as SEGA to participate in NFTs is becoming a tough ethical debate for players, as buying games from such publishers is in part to finance these ventures.
NFTs have been confusing and frustrating the gaming community ever since they debuted, with some NFT-based products even stealing art from indie developers. And while his popularity seems to be waning, it appears that it may still be some time before his complete disappearance. Until then, unexpected ventures from major game developers and publishers could take this harmful path further down.
Source: PR Newswire
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