An Analysis of the Neopian Economy
Have you ever noticed the poll on the Neopets homepage? I’m sure you have. Maybe you’ve even voted in it once or twice. There are quite a few polls, with topics ranging from “Pirates or Maraquans?” to “Meepits or Feepits?” The other day, I was looking at the polls, and one caught my eye.
The question was “What's the most Neopoints you've EVER saved up?” What interested me was that the vast majority of Neopians had fewer than 100,000 neopoints. Obviously, this poll had already been closed, and there’s probably been quite a bit of inflation, so the results aren’t that accurate, but the data was still interesting. With a few estimations, I found the number of people polled to be about 125,800 people, who had a total of 52.25 billion neopoints. But even more interesting was the fact that although the amount of people with a given amount of neopoints shrank, the total number of neopoints in that group grew. The average neopoints per person was about 415,300 neopoints – a quantity that roughly two thirds had less than. On the other hand, the group with over two million neopoints (about 11% of the sample) had over half of the total neopoints. So roughly a tenth of the population has half of the neopoints.
How did these people get so rich? Well, according to another poll, almost 80% of people made most of their neopoints from games. Could there be a correlation between a vast majority of people playing games and a vast majority of people being (relatively) poor? Well, as of right now, there are roughly 160 games in Neopia. All of these games may be played up to three times per day, and award up to 1,000 neopoints per play. This means that in one day, a Neopian could make roughly 480,000 neopoints. However, if there are 160 games, and each game takes an average of five minutes per play, that’s 2,400 minutes, or 40 hours spent playing. Obviously though, there are only 24 hours in a day, and even then, only 3 hours could feasibly be spent playing games without going hopelessly insane from lack of food or sleep. Additionally, not everyone is that great at every game, so the average amount of neopoints made would only actually be about 500 neopoints per play. That brings the earnings down to 18,000 neopoints—still a decent sum, but not much compared to other methods.
But wait! According to the poll regarding how much people have saved up, almost two thirds of people never saved up more than 100,000 neopoints, which is even less than the amount they could make in a week by playing games. Therefore, the estimation of how much the average game player makes in a day must be off. If we decrease the amount of time spent playing games to ten minutes, but say the person only plays the one game they’re best at, that’s 3,000 neopoints per day. This is more likely, since then it would take roughly a month to get 100,000 neopoints.
As of right now, there are roughly 150 million Neopians. If 80% of them play games, and all gamers earn 3,000 neopoints per day, that’s 360 billion neopoints coming into the economy every day. Where do these neopoints go? A decent amount goes towards paintbrushes. The average number of Neopets per person is about 1.5. According to one poll of roughly 637,000 people, about 594,000 Neopets were painted, out of about 940,000 Neopets. That means that about 63% of pets are painted. Therefore, there is an average of one painted pet per person.
According to another poll, about 78% of people have spent under 100,000 neopoints painting their pets, which corresponds to the vast majority of people saving up under 100,000 neopoints. Of the 22% of people that did save up, an average of about one million neopoints was spent painting pets. If these people were gamers, that would take about a year. A year many people haven’t even played, since 44% of people have been Neopians for under a year (another poll). 42% of people don’t even know that it’s possible to paint Neopets, so perhaps it takes a year to decide to get a paintbrush, and another year to actually save up. But, since 20% of people made their neopoints from things other than games, we can conclude that the people that are not playing games and the people painting their pets expensive colors are the same people. Additionally, 20% of people have saved up one million or more neopoints. Therefore, we can also conclude that the people that have the vast majority of Neopia’s wealth are both the people that don’t play games and the people that paint their pets. What other things are this 20%? Well, 20% of people are more than three years old. Therefore, older players are both wealthier (because they’ve had longer to save up) and wiser, which makes sense.
What other conclusions can we make? Well, there are 150 million Neopians, and an average of one painted Neopet per person, which has been painted with a paintbrush worth about one million neopoints. That means that 150 trillion neopoints have been spent painting pets. If 360 billion neopoints enter the economy every day, and this has been happening for five years (not much happened in years 1-5), then 657 trillion neopoints have entered the economy. That means 22% of neopoints have been spent painting Neopets.
Where have the other 78% been spent? Well, another poll regarding stamps says that the number of stamps per person is roughly .07 stamps. If the average stamp is 10,000 neopoints (Those retired ones are really expensive!), then 105 billion neopoints have been spent on stamps... barely anything at all. Where are the other neopoints? They’re probably all in people’s bank accounts. 400,000 neopoints per person and 150 million Neopians means 60 quadrillion neopoints have been saved. But wait! Only 657 trillion neopoints are in the economy. That’s over 90 times as many neopoints. What does that mean? If a single neopoint is earned by playing games, it’s spent nearly a hundred times. Wow.
Author’s note: Yes, I did a lot of rounding... and estimating... and assuming. But this article isn’t meant to be factual – I honestly have no clue how accurate the polls are. After all, 20% of people say they’ve lied on the poll, and to be honest, I don’t trust the 80% either. But as long as this article has made you think, it has done its job.
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