The first Neopets animated series will launch in fall 2021, according to JumpStart CEO Jim Czulewicz.
JumpStart acquired the Neopets franchise from Viacom in 2014, and the new TV series is part of the company’s plans to refresh the beloved web game, which has a history that spans over 20 years. In February, Neopets announced that a television series in collaboration with Beach House Pictures and Blue Ant Studios was in production, but little is still known about the upcoming plot and characters.
In remarks given Tuesday as part of the Licensing Week Virtual event hosted by the Global Licensing Group, Czulewicz said that the company is currently working with three different storylines, but it has yet to make an official decision on what the final script will look like. JumpStart is also considering developing animated shorts “that drive into the bigger story arcs” longtime fans are familiar with, while targeting the main show to both younger audiences and legacy players.
Outside of the new TV series, Czulewicz said to expect plenty of new products as part of “the next major phase for the Neopets universe” this year. In 2017, Adobe announced that it would be retiring Flash in December 2020. Once the company stops updating Flash, many web games and sites that are built on it, like Neopets, will break. That’s why Neopets has been working to retranslate all of the old Flash code to HTML5 so the web game can continue to live on well into the future and operate in a mobile-friendly way. JumpStart also plans to launch new merchandise, like toys, trading cards, and plushes by the end of the year.
“It’s been a long time coming for Neopets to move this way,” Czulewicz said. “We’re going to see a lot coming out this year.”
Neopets is also continuing to develop mobile games after its poorly received Legends & Letters Scrabble-like game that launched on iOS and Android last year. In 2020, Czulewicz said to expect a new title called Island Builders, but not much is known about what the end product will look like.