Neopets tests new mobile website, 20 years after virtual pet game launched

Online video game Neopets is relaunching as a mobile website, the company announced on Friday.

"Ready to see what we've got started for the new Neopets mobile-friendly site? We don't have all of Neopia moved over yet, but we hope you enjoy the new direction of Neopets so far! Check out our open beta now!" the company tweeted.

Neopets was a popular virtual pet website where users could raise and care for their digital animals such as puppies and kittens, but also mythical animals like dragons. Players can also make a customisable home for them and play mini-games, similar to a Tamagotchi – although the digital animals are more colourful and individual.

In 2005, the creators sold the company to Viacom, an American media conglomerate, which then sold it to JumpStart in 2014. JumpStart has since been purchased by the Chinese company NetDragon which makes online games in China such as Heroes Evolved and Conquer Online.

Nevertheless, it gained a strong following, and is credited by many for teaching the basics of coding languages like HTML and CSS, which could be used to customise your pets further. There is also reports of an upcoming cartoon show based on the property.

The company seems to be hoping that its new mobile-focused website will appeal to modern users, although it will be some time before the fully-fledged site is operational. "While this is an open beta, we're in the very early stages of development and looking forward to all your feedback to help guide the product moving forward" said brand manager Stephanie Lord in a video posted to Twitter.

Right now, the site offers some limited functionality: users can currently customise their pet, play a number of mini-games in browser such as "Rink Runner and "Fashion Fever", and can purchase items for their pets in the shop. Players can also visit "dailies" – websites that can be visited every day for digital rewards – using the mobile site.

We've reached out to Neopets for more information about what users can expect from the beta.

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