Newgrounds

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Newgrounds.com, Inc.
Newgrounds2018logo.png
Screenshot
Screenshot of the Newgrounds website.png
Newgrounds’s welcoming page as of 2018.
Type of business Private
Type of site
Indie games, animation, art, music and user-generated content hosting service
Available in English
Founded July 6, 1995; 23 years ago (1995-07-06)
Headquarters Glenside, Pennsylvania, United States
Key people

Founder/CEO
Tom Fulp
Site Programmers
Josh Tuttle & James Holloway

Artist/Animator
Jeff Bandelin
Website www.newgrounds.com
Alexa rank Increase 2,563 (March 2018)[1]
Registration Optional, only required to vote, review, comment and submit content

Newgrounds is an American online entertainment and social media website and company, operated under Newgrounds.com, Inc. The site hosts user-generated content such as games, movies, audio, and artwork in four respective site "portals". The site is known to be the first website on the internet that allowed people to upload and submit their creations online.[2] The site's founder and owner, Tom Fulp, founded the site and company in 1995 and produces in-house content. The headquarters and offices are based in the Glenside neighborhood of Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania.[3] As of 2018, Newgrounds has 117 employees at its company.[4]

Site Overview[edit]

User-generated content can be uploaded into one of the site’s four “portals”: Games, Movies, Audio, and Art. A submission can be given a review from users, giving a rating of up to 5 stars. Submissions and reviews can also be reported for review to the site’s moderators and staff by users “flagging” it for stolen or offensive content.[5] The welcoming page of Newgrounds includes featured submissions from each category, as well online awards and trophies to users whose submission that fall under the site’s requirements to earn it.

Newgrounds also includes a Community portal, as such users can be able to communicate with others through various Internet forums. Another communication system developed on the site is also granted, similar to the service of email where users can send messages to other users through “Private Messaging”. A live chat room is also available for users that are known as “supporters” (users that donate to the website).

History[edit]

1990s[edit]

In 1991 at the age 13, Tom Fulp launched a Neo Geo fanzine by the name "New Ground" sending issues to approximately 100 members of a club on Prodigy.[6] In 1995, Fulp launched a website as New Ground Remix using webspace. The website increased in popularity in the summer of 1996 after Fulp created BBS games "Club a Seal"[7] and "Assassin" while as a student at Drexel University, Pennsylvania. In 1997, Fulp created the sequels to his creations, as games "Club a Seal II" and "Assassin II," along with the latter’s decision to make another game hosting site by created a separate one, as New Ground Atomix.[8]

A year later in 1998, Fulp began experimenting with Macromedia Flash, along with programming a Flash front page that was later introduced to his secondary site and the flash game "Telebubby Fun Land" was 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. After 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. He eventually added a chat room and message board to the website, which allowed people visiting the website to interact with each other. Many users had begun submitting their own Flash creations to Fulp, in which he decided in a portion of the site called "The Portal." A friend of Fulp named Ross developed the “Grounds Gold system”, which allowed users to gain points for visiting the site online. Ad revenue had increased, so Fulp hired the latter to the company and started development of an current automated Portal, which would allow users to submit their own generated content to the website.

2000s[edit]

After the dot-com bubble collapsed, Newgrounds struggled to pay its hosting costs. After their affiliation with Troma ended in 2003, Newgrounds switched to a different bandwidth provider, which significantly reduced hosting costs. 2004 saw some fiscal recovery 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 user-generated 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 and officers.

2010s[edit]

In 2011, the Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation (NATA) began as a 4–6 month long animation competition on Newgrounds sponsored by both Adobe and Tom Fulp. 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. In 2018, new servers and video-encoding-software were unveiled, along with developments for the site to be ad-free, and improve page performance,

Copyright claims and concerns[edit]

When the popular mobile game Geometry Dash developed by RobTop Games started allowing songs on Newgrounds to be used in levels made with the level editor with the release of its 1.9 update in 2014, Newgrounds’s Audio Portal was flooded with copyrighted songs for use in the game, leading to stricter moderation and rules on the site to prevent this. Nightcore, along with mashups, were banned as a result.

In 2016, the site began receiving legal complaints due to old user-generated content files containing unlicensed commercial music, resulting in many submissions being removed from the site by moderators and staff.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "newgrounds.com traffic ranking". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 5 March 2018. 
  2. ^ Buckelew, Sean (2014-12-27). "Newgrounds: Everything by Everyone". Sean Buckelew. Retrieved 2018-04-21. 
  3. ^ "Cheltenham Township Business Directory". January 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  4. ^ "Newgrounds Competitors, Revenue and Employees - Owler Company Profile". www.owler.com. Retrieved 2018-04-21. 
  5. ^ "The History Of Newgrounds | Retro Junk". www.retrojunk.com. Retrieved 2018-04-21. 
  6. ^ "1991: The Zine". newgrounds.com. Retrieved 2018-04-20. 
  7. ^ "#105 At World's End - Reply All by Gimlet Media". gimletmedia.com. Retrieved 2017-09-25. 
  8. ^ "1997: The Tale of Two Newgrounds". newgrounds.com. Retrieved 2018-04-20.