June 20, 2005 9:05 AM PDT

MTV acquires virtual critter site NeoPets

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MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International, has acquired online youth community NeoPets, the companies announced Monday.

MTV, which also owns runs Nickelodeon and Nick.com, said the addition of NeoPets.com to its portfolio will boost its presence in the online entertainment segment for children and young adults.

NeoPets is an online network that lets members create and care for "virtual pets" that inhabit a mythical place dubbed Neopia. Nearly 25 million people globally have Neopets accounts, the company said.

NeoPets CEO Doug C. Dohring and other executives will continue in their positions and manage the company from Glendale, Calif., where it is based. Dohring will report to Jeffrey Dunn, president of Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Almost 60 percent of the NeoPets audience is over age 13, which fits well with the profile of many MTV brands, MTV said. With 50 original characters, the portal offers business opportunities in feature film animation.

"NeoPets users are passionate about the site and its unique offerings, and that is exactly the kind of connection with audiences that MTV Networks cultivates and values," Judy McGrath, CEO of MTV, said in a statement. "Its acquisition is an important move for us as we aggressively move forward as a multi-platform entertainment company."

NeoPets.com generates 5 billion page views per month and is available in English, Japanese, traditional and simplified Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese, the company said. Its proprietary translation technology is designed to let members from diverse cultures interact with each one another on the site.

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Uh-oh.
My kid used to play on that site all the time; mercifully, she's out of her Neopets phase now. I can just imagine the brain-dead pablum that Viacom and MTV are going to try shoving down the collective throat of their new captive audience at Neopets. Cross promos for idiotic, no-talent bands, obstrusive winking, blinking branding that will clutter half the screen, ticker tape scrolling across the screen every fifteen seconds reminding the kids to call Total Request Live to vote for their favorite Real World/Making of the Band Neopia character, and they'll be forced to watch RIAA sponsored videos before they can login and play.

Parents, heed my warning: Get your kids away from Viacompets before it's too late! If you don't, all those years you've spent trying to teach them the difference between real music and the garbage that MTV spews out will be in vain.

Neopets is so 2002 anyway. All the cool kids are playing MapleStory now.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.mapleglobal.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.mapleglobal.com/</a>
Posted by (1 comment )
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Nothing To Worry About
I completly 100% disagree with jaggy. Viacom isn't going to ruin neopets at all, actually it's been a year and nothing has really changed. They released a ps2 and psp game, there both loads of fun and the site has remained the same. As for adds, you can easily remove them by getting neopets premium for 70 a year. Neopets never gets old, and mtv should help more then it harms hopefully by making more merchendise and stuff. And as fun as maplestory is, it can never replace neo
Posted by jphair2005 (1 comment )
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So funny that you compare Neopets to Maplestory when one is an MMOG and one is an MMORPG. Unless you yourself have truly gotten onto the site and experienced it, you can't really make a valid opinion that Neopets is suddenly garbage. So far your "scrolling ads" and "RIAA videos" haven't popped up and it's been 3 years.
Posted by firefoxluva95 (186 comments )
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