Layoffs at Neopets

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Goldenchaos
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Gauging interest in Neopets talk

Post by Goldenchaos » 08 Mar 2015 07:14 pm

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Re: Gauging interest in Neopets talk

Post by Cranberry » 08 Mar 2015 07:40 pm

Well crap. I wonder what that means for the site.
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Re: Gauging interest in Neopets talk

Post by Nogitsune » 08 Mar 2015 08:06 pm

Cranberry wrote:Well crap. I wonder what that means for the site.
My best guess is that the site will go on for a little while. However, I suspect Jumpstart is interested in the intellectual property rights so they can include things like kougras and lupes in their own games - which may or may not mean maintaining the site.
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Layoffs at Neopets

Post by Jazzy » 08 Mar 2015 11:02 pm

To quote Jellyneo:
I have some sad news to report. Early Friday afternoon, most of The Neopets Team was laid off. According to our source, there are only a handful of programmers left, along with the support team and the monitor team. This is why we did not get news on Friday, and why the NC items released over this weekend do not have images.

We are unsure what Jumpstart's plans are going forward, especially with the app they just released, but the TNTers that have made Neopets what it was over the past 15 years will not all be part of it.

The JN Staff would like to give all of TNT a big thank you and congratulations on an amazing 15 year run. Despite a little complaining along the way, Neopets shaped a lot of us, and it's amazing it lasted as long as it did. (Who knew a web game from 1999 would be online in its original form in 2015??) Best of luck to everyone!
Snarkie also made a tweet on Friday:
If anyone is looking to hire content geniuses, designers, monitors, producers, et al, please do tell. I have awesome folks to send your way.
It's not looking great, guys.

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Re: Layoffs at Neopets

Post by EofS » 08 Mar 2015 11:17 pm

Oh no! That's awful news. I hope they're able to find new work soon. Dreadful to have (apparently) no notice though.

Doesn't look good for the site either. Looks like they've kept enough staff (in the right categories) to maintain what they've got at present, but you can't keep a site alive for long with nothing new.
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Re: Layoffs at Neopets

Post by Jazzy » 08 Mar 2015 11:30 pm

I think that the only possibility that would leave the site running in its present form is if Jumpstart already had artists, coders, etc, and the original team were fired for being duplicates...but I'm not at all sure that's likely. And like you said, you need new content regularly to keep a site going.

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Re: Layoffs at Neopets

Post by Kantark » 08 Mar 2015 11:44 pm

Whoa, that doesn't bode well! Buggritt, just when I was getting close to 56k a day interest too.

I won't call it the beginning of the end, because there've been lots of those over the years (Neopets sold by Viacom, 'You are not Prepared', departure of Adam and Donna, Neopets *bought* by Viacom... etc.) and still the site has plodded on. And presumably Jumpstart wouldn't want to write off their large investment so soon (unless they are also up shit creek? I don't know anything about them outside of their ownership of Neo, maybe they've had to cut costs across the board?)

But it doesn't look like the site is in a happy place right now - the site's been flaky for months, the NT has now missed three issues, now these layoffs. It's ironic that the latest news item is titled 'Cancelled due to lack of interest'.
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Re: Gauging interest in Neopets talk

Post by Kantark » 09 Mar 2015 12:18 am

I posted on Jazzy's other thread first (the title to that one kinda caught my attention), was surprised it hadn't got more posts, then found this is where it's all happening.
Cranberry wrote:I wonder what that means for the site.
For one, that's kinda screwed the Altador Cup staff tournament this year.

It's really crap, especially for those guys that've been there a long time - I'd hope that at the very least they were given a decent notice period & redundancy package.

As to the site, well it genuinely seemed to get a lot faster for a few days a couple of weeks ago but now it's back to being barely usable - I'm getting odd errors on the stock market pages that I've never seen before.

Nogitsune, good point, but how valuable is Neo's IP now? Does Neo still have much brand recognition in the States? Over here I'd guess it's somewhere close to approximately zilch, the only mention in mainstream media I've seen here in the past few years was that interview with Donna.
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Re: Layoffs at Neopets

Post by Jazzy » 09 Mar 2015 12:21 am

56k, holy crap! I thought I was doing well by climbing close to 15k a day interest, since that's the point at which stocks are basically free. How big's your portfolio now?

I think there's a few scenarios:
1. Site was far less profitable than the takeover team were led to believe. Site carries on, with no new content, dies slowly (see: Livejournal). With a skeleton staff you might be able to make a net profit until people cotton on that there's nothing new to buy in the mall...wonder how much they'd make if they made an unconvert item for $100?
2. Site is fine, but takeovers are nasty things. Site carries on with new content, using Jumpstart staff, and/or outsourced people. Site continues until Jumpstart lose interest or is sold again.
3. Site gets raided for its IP, shuts down, and carries on as a series of tenuously-related mobile games.

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Re: Layoffs at Neopets

Post by Nogitsune » 09 Mar 2015 12:26 am

Jazzy wrote:56k, holy crap! I thought I was doing well by climbing close to 15k a day interest, since that's the point at which stocks are basically free. How big's your portfolio now?

I think there's a few scenarios:
1. Site was far less profitable than the takeover team were led to believe. Site carries on, with no new content, dies slowly (see: Livejournal). With a skeleton staff you might be able to make a net profit until people cotton on that there's nothing new to buy in the mall...wonder how much they'd make if they made an unconvert item for $100?
2. Site is fine, but takeovers are nasty things. Site carries on with new content, using Jumpstart staff, and/or outsourced people. Site continues until Jumpstart lose interest or is sold again.
3. Site gets raided for its IP, shuts down, and carries on as a series of tenuously-related mobile games.
Three seems the most likely right now, but we could end up being surprised. In a way, it's a shame we fans can't buy the site and all and get our own team together to run it.

What happens to here? Obviously there's Subeta (which I don't play) but if Neopets closes down, what will we do here?
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Re: Layoffs at Neopets

Post by Kantark » 09 Mar 2015 12:32 am

I've been shrinking my port for some time now, or at least trying to - the stock market script won't process more than about 10 transactions at a time without crashing out with things like 'You can't sell more of {stock} than is in this lot', or 'DB error. The Neopets team has been informed'

I think a year ago I'd've gone for a $100 unconvert item (or two) in a heartbeat, but currently I'd hold off until the site a) was working properly, and b) had some sort of assured future.
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Re: Layoffs at Neopets

Post by Seerow » 09 Mar 2015 12:53 am

I was really sad when I read the news on Jellyneo. I don't do much on Neo other than read the news, zap my pet, and participate in plots but the site will forever hold a special place in my life. I can't imagine what the staff must get feeling, having worked at the company for all those years.

The layoffs might explain the sudden influx of truly bad art in the items. If things had been going on for some time they might have just been releasing old forgotten stuff to get new content out.

I'd like to see Neo stick around but I don't know if it would have the same charm if all the content people were let go. I hope they can get jobs again soon. Wonder if any would be beneficial for Subeta hah.
Last edited by Seerow on 09 Mar 2015 01:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gauging interest in Neopets talk

Post by Madge » 09 Mar 2015 01:00 am

... what the hell? They can't kill the site, can they? :'(

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Re: Gauging interest in Neopets talk

Post by Nogitsune » 09 Mar 2015 01:06 am

Madge wrote:... what the hell? They can't kill the site, can they? :'(
Having bought it, they can presumably do whatever they want with it.
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Re: Layoffs at Neopets

Post by Jazzy » 09 Mar 2015 01:08 am

We're hosted by a friend, who is very kindly hosting us for free, so as long as he's happy to do so, I'm happy to keep the site running. That said, it'll be slightly harder to know what to talk about here if there isn't any Neopets :P

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