Trading on the black market of neopets becomes a real problem
Do you remember neopets? We do. The colorful and happy virtual animal site on which so many of us spent our childhood has experienced better days, especially since the end of Flash support in 2020 made it definitely broken, but some courageous and determined souls are still active. These people still personalize, interact with and exchange their pets. Unfortunately, all do not trade legally, especially when rare non-converted animals are involved. You see, Neopents had an update at the site-wide in 2007 which changed the majority of the illustrations presented on in exchange for new options for interaction and personalization, but some types of pets have Not automatically converted to the new art. These non-converted animals were inadvertently transformed into the most valuable merchandise of the site. This is where the black market comes into play.
The shortage of unconverted pets means that they order huge prices in the players’ economy, which is now in the illegal trade of pets. Combined with the account data disclosed as part of a huge hacking in 2016, this means that rare animals are stolen directly on the accounts of their owner and dragged into the base of players. A user, Amanda, had to ask the staff to recover his Darigan Lupe, Klyko, not converted, through a process known as “reversal of trade”. That’s about exactly what it sounds like: Neopent staff followed Klyko by name and canceled a whole chain of transactions, legitimate or not. The problem is that they are not only people like Amanda who are victims of this type of transaction. Many accounts affected by transaction reversals had no idea of the pets they exchanged had been stolen.
In recent months, neopent staff has been forced to take steps to stop the pet trade on the black market, and the results shake the neopent community. To bring Klyko to Amanda, they triggered a string of reversals which, according to users, could have affected hundreds of pets. Some of these animals were lost in the mix, which resulted in non-familiar players or players who lost months of progression, and this is just an incident. The neopent team has been forced to publicly recognize the indignation and the subject of commercial inversions on the forums, where they said: “Our goal is to make Neopia a safe place for all, and this includes to play with and exchange pets safely. In light of this situation, our team will again review the issue of pet trade reversals and will take steps to ensure that all users are treated fairly if they are involuntarily involved with an illegally obtained animal. “_
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