Neopets Tests AI-Linked Metaverse Platform

New York Comic Con (NYCC) overflowed with exciting media and news for movies, TV, and books. That excitement even extended to the digital frontier of the metaverse. The classic game/virtual animal playground of Neopets has joined that exodus with the new Neopets Meta experience now undergoing experimentation.

Neopets Meta

“It’s the first 3D reimagining of the Neopets game, following the trend of the metaverse,” Neopets Meta project manager Casey Sinclair told Voicebot in an interview at NYCC. “There are a ton of opportunities for creative third-party ideas. The cool thing is that we are focusing on community centers. Neopets is always community-centered. We’re doing a contest for Neopets music for the metaverse and exploring an open environment.”

Neopets Metaverse mixes classic aspects of the original website with new metaverse-friendly activities and digital features. The idea is to attract both newcomers and long-time Neopians. For instance, there is an extensive and complex care system and customized creation process for the Neopets and their homes. There’s also a new battle combat system, training activities, and shops for buying, selling, and trading Neopets and all their accessories.

“We built it on Unity, and it’s browser-based, but next year there will be a desktop app,” Sinclair said. “What sets us apart is that Neopets is built on an IP with 20 years of storylines, a community, and a custom economy. I don’t think others can build from scratch 23 years of content and the vast resources needed to keep up with technology for a lot of original players.”

The metaverse is creating a real demand for characters and experiences, whether for Walmart or Disney. Having a big set of characters and a built-in user base could make Neopets a big deal for the metaverse or at least lead to a Rennaissance for the brand. Even beyond existing concepts, there’s a rush to build synthetic characters to fill the metaverse. Startups that supply both human-controlled avatars and virtual beings powered by interactive AI are flush with cash from investors and new clients. Inworld AI just raised $50 million for its metaverse-based virtual character creator, while Big names like HTC and Nvidia are pushing their own virtual character models in tandem with their metaverse worlds.


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