Hey Poptropicans! In a stunning turn of events, Poptropica has suddenly, somehow managed to do the unexpected: shared actual sneak peek images of something they’re working on, and post a controversial tweet.
Let’s fly into the first thing: sneak peeks! Over on the Creators’ Blog, they shared a post teasing “new stuff” they’re working on. As is the case with their communications these days, the writing is sparse, leaving much to the imagination. But whatever Poptropica Airways is, it’s about to make a landing.
Could planes be the new blimps? That might explain the recent disappearance of the beloved, Poppies-award-winning blimp decor in clubhouses, even while blimps continue to be our Poptropicans’ mode of inter-island travel. But if that’s the case—even conceding that planes might be a more modern form of travel—Poptropica would certainly be losing a very iconic part of its identity! Even the Creators’ Blog uses the blimp in their branding.
And what to make of the blimp photo on the clerk’s desk? Is it a tribute to a soon-to-be past, or will blimps be relegated to being the beat-up rafts to the Phoenix Warbirds of the air? (That’s a Skullduggery Island metaphor, btw.)
Or is this part of a new island adventure? The post does also say they’re working on converting islands, with Time Tangled and Mythology in progress right now—which seems to leave little room for the planning and developing of an entirely new island. But who knows?
Now onto the next juicy news: yes, for the second time in 2020, Poptropica managed to tweet something controversial. (In case you missed it, Poptropica briefly endorsed Joe Biden for US president on Twitter.)
It all started when the Poptropica app reached #1 somewhere in Apple’s App Store, knocking out Fortnite for the top spot. Of course, this called for a celebratory post (and story) on Instagram that started innocently enough, mentioning how they’d outlasted games like Club Penguin and Animal Jam.
But Poptropica’s tone was a little more over-the-top with the gloating on Twitter. In addition to a similar post sharing the same news, Poptropica also responded to a Twitter thread from Animal Jam co-founder Clark Stacey by saying, “First #clubpenguin and now #animaljam too? It’s lonely at the top. #poptropicaforever.” Poptropica’s tweet was pulled in less than a day, but we saved some pics, plus Mr. Stacey’s unamused response, which remains.
Mr. Stacey’s original Twitter commentary had been about the struggles of kids’ game developers being incentivised to create their games for a general audience rather than specifically for the kids category of game lists, as well as Apple’s ambiguity about why they were rejecting game updates to Animal Jam and other kids’ games. And instead of offering sympathy from a fellow kids’ game developer, Poptropica decided to gloat.
The Animal Jam co-founder swiftly called them out for being “childish” and “sloppyheaded,” adding that “the Poptropica I know was above this sort of thing.” Which brings us to the question, what’s up with Poptropica’s lackluster communications to players lately? Since Skinny Moon left in 2017, the years of general silence (with occasional vague updates) that followed were unimpressive enough, but this year’s (albeit deleted) Twitter blunders are bewildering. We sure do miss the days when Poptropica had a dedicated social media manager who took the time of day to respond to players’ questions!
By the way, Fortnite’s fall from the top spot is likely related to the game recently being pulled from both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store for trying to circumvent the stores’ 30% “tax” on in-app purchases by offering a direct-payment option away from the app stores.
But Poptropica does the exact same thing: even though you can buy a Pop membership through an in-app purchase (which gives a cut of the costs to the app store), you can also buy a membership directly on Poptropica’s website, which would allow Pop to keep 100% of the earnings. No matter where you buy the membership, it gets applied to your account on the app (as well as on the computer). So perhaps some sympathy for the predicaments of games like Fortnite is in order. After all, Poptropica could very well be at the same risk.
That wraps up these peculiar updates! What do you think Poptropica Airways will be? Thoughts on Poptropica’s Twitter habits? Hoorays for the app’s achievement? Sound off in the comments below!
~Slanted Fish 🐠