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|Type of business||Private|
Type of site
|Founded||July 12, 1995|
333 W Glenside Ave, Glenside, Pennsylvania,
|Key people||Founder/Chief executive officer (CEO)|
|Services||Indie games, animation, art, music and user-generated content, hosting service|
|Registration||Optional; only required to vote, review, comment and submit content|
Newgrounds is an online entertainment website and company. It hosts user-generated content such as gaming, filming, audio and artwork composition in four respective website categories. Newgrounds provides visitor-driven voting and ranking of user-generated submissions.
The site's owner, Tom Fulp, founded the site and company in 1995 and produces in-house content over at the headquarters and offices, based in the Glenside neighborhood of Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania.
Newgrounds's slogan since 2006 is "Everything, By Everyone". Newgrounds's slogan from 1995 to 2006 was "The Problems Of The Future, Today!" Time ranked the website at number 39 on its "50 Best Websites" list in 2010.
Layout and overview
Content and general
User-generated content can be uploaded and categorized into either one of the site's four web portals: Games, Movies, Audio, and Art. A Movie or Games submission entered undergoes the process termed Judgment, where it can be rated by all users (from 0 to 5 stars) and reviewed by other users. The average score calculated at various points during Judgment determine if whether the content will be "saved" (added onto the database) or "blammed" (deleted, with only its reviews saved in the Obituaries section).
Art and audio compositions are processed using a different method called "Scouting". All users can put art and audio onto their own page, but only those that are "scouted" will appear in the public area. Like the Judgment system, it stops stolen content, spam, or prohibited material reaching the public area, using users and site moderators (referred to as "Mods") . Once an individual is scouted they are given the privilege to also scout others to those Portals.
Since showing animated movies and games was the original purpose and they are still the dominant media of the site, those submissions are all displayed in an area just called the "Portal". This displays not only what is in Judgment, but it also displays the statuses of recently judged submissions, and various winners and most popular submissions.
Content and context are liable to be reported for review to the Mods and staff members by flagging it for violations to the site's guidelines; a weighted system recognises experienced users and gives their flag more voice. The Homepage of Newgrounds includes featured submissions from each category, as well as awards and honors to users whose submission that fall under the site's requirements to earn them. All submissions have a rating. Adult-oriented content is allowed with adult ads, but is supposedly restricted only to users aged 18 and up, though there is no safeguard to assure this.
Online competitions and contests are open at some times, where an individual can win and receive prizes presented by either a recognized user or staff member upon following a given theme.
User communication and behavior
The site includes a Community portal, where users are able to communicate with others through various Internet forums. Threads in the forums can be locked if they are in violation of forum rules. Another communication system developed on the site, termed "Private Messaging" and abbreviated as PM, is also granted, similar to the service of email where users can send messages via the site to other users. A live chat room is also available.
Any user breaking the rules of site use anywhere on the site can be sent warnings or subjected to sanctions, such as restrictions of membership or banning, by the Moderators or Staff.
In 1991, at the age 13, Tom Fulp launched a Neo Geo fanzine under the name "New Ground" sending issues to approximately 100 members of a club originating on the internet in Prodigy. Fulp launched a website as New Ground Remix using a hosting service, increasing popularity in the summer of 1996 after BBS games Club a Seal and Assassin were created by Fulp while a student at Drexel University, Pennsylvania. Fulp created the sequels to his creations, as games Club a Seal II and Assassin II, along with the decision to develop a separate hosting site, titled as New Ground Atomix.
Fulp began experimenting with Macromedia Flash, along with programming a Flash-compatible homepage that was later introduced to his secondary site, "Telebubby Fun Land", and was later released. Fulp later merged his two websites to form another website with the name Newgrounds, leading to him to change hosts to accommodate the increasing traffic, and started selling merchandise to pay for the website's hosting bills. Introducing banner ads to pay for growing payments in 1999, Fulp partnered with Troma, who hosted the site in exchange for a share of ad revenue. A chat room and message board was added onto the website, which allowed people visiting the website to interact with each other. Many users had begun submitting their own Flash creations to Fulp, so he created a portion of the site called "The Portal" to display them. A friend of Fulp's named Ross developed the "Grounds Gold System", which allowed users to gain points for voting on submissions online. Ad revenue had increased, so Ross was hired, starting development of the current automated Portal, which would allow users to submit their own generated content to the website and have it judged by anyone visiting.
After the dot-com bubble collapsed, Newgrounds struggled in paying its hosting costs. The affiliation with Troma ended in 2003 and Newgrounds switched to another bandwidth provider, which significantly reduced hosting costs. 2004 saw Newgrounds recovering from the online market crash, and the Numa Numa Dance viral phenomenon made its debut on Newgrounds near the end of the year, and became one of the first viral videos on the internet. Medals, the equivalent of in-game achievements, were introduced for the first time through the API software in 2009, soon followed by a "Sharing" component that would allow content to be distributed within games, such as custom level designs. The Art Portal in its complete form was launched in June of the same year, along with the renovation of the company's headquarters. In later 2009, Fulp raised the file limit of Newgrounds to allow Mark Haynes to upload the eighth episode of his web series Super Mario Bros. Z, of which Fulp was a fan.
2010–present: Financial concerns, copyrights, and format changes
In 2011, the Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation (NATA) began as a 4–6 month long animation competition on Newgrounds sponsored by Adobe. In 2012, Newgrounds published their first mobile game, titled GroundCats, on iOS. That same year, major changes to the website included the launch of the video player, allowing users to publish movies that were not in .SWF format for the first time, and support for HTML5-coded games, which meant users were no longer limited to submitting movies and games made in Flash. In 2013, the site suffered heavily through financial issues and closed down its online merchandise market the year after. Platform mobile game Geometry Dash developed by RobTop Games allowed songs from Newgrounds to be used in levels made with the level editor with the release of its 1.9 update in 2014. The Audio Portal consisted of submitted copyrighted songs for use in the game, leading to nightcore, along with mashups, banned as a result.
The issue of copyright protection came to a head in 2016, when the site received a serious challenge to deal with the content and files containing unlicensed commercial music and images, resulting in many submissions being removed by moderators and staff. In 2018, new servers and video-encoding-software were unveiled, along with developments for the site to be ad-free, and improve page performance.
In November and December 2018, Newgrounds experienced surges of new members originally from Tumblr, when that site began restricting adult content after illegal child pornography was found on that service, resulting in its iOS app being removed from Apple's App Store.
In the wake of the Adobe Flash Player no longer being supported after the end of 2020, Newgrounds developed the Newgrounds Player as an alternate media player to continue viewing old Flash projects. Newgrounds also introduced support for HTML5-based games and animations as an alternative to Flash, which can be uploaded in the form of a .zip file.
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- "Newgrounds.com — Everything, By Everyone". Newgrounds.
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