Club Penguin Island Closing Down
Disney have announced that they will be closing down their “Club Penguin Island” app at the end of the year.
Here is the full announcement:
To our Club Penguin Fans and Family:
There’s no easy way to say this but after 13 incredible years, Club Penguin will be sunsetting at the end of this year. We’ll be providing players with all the necessary information in the coming weeks via in-game messages and updates here on Island News.
Thanks to you, Club Penguin has been more than a game; it’s been a global community where you have gathered to socialize and express yourselves. In a time when games come and go within months, it was one of the longest-running kids’ games of all time and at its height, had over 200 million accounts. Players from countries around the world showed their commitment to the game by adopting 25 million Puffles and creating over 200,000 videos.
When we replaced the original Club Penguin game a year and a half ago, we always strived to make Club Penguin Island the best mobile successor to the original game. From day one of development, Club Penguin Island has been a true passion project for everyone here at Disney but, the time has come for the party to end.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued dedication to the Club Penguin and Club Penguin Island games and for being a member of our family. We are so grateful to have shared in this journey with you. We’re excited to bring you more new experiences around all of Disney’s beloved characters and stories across all platforms.
Please look out for more information soon and as always, waddle on.
– Club Penguin Team
Disney purchased Club Penguin in 2007 and at its peak, it had millions of subscribers but due to the closure, staff were let go, as according to Kotaku:
On Tuesday, employees at Disney Canada were informed that Club Penguin Island was shutting down. A letter from Disney HR, which has been leaked to Kotaku, reads, “For several years now, we have been experiencing increasing global competition. We have explored many options to improve efficiency and reduce costs. These measures have succeeded to some extent. However, in order to reduce costs further and become more competitive, we find that we must reduce our workforce.”
Employees apparently will receive about one month of severance and benefits, the letter suggests.
One former employee, who is anonymous for fear of retribution, told Kotaku that he felt “blindsided” by the news. Although employees working on the game knew Club Penguin Island wasn’t doing well, he said, the studio had been pitching other projects. “We were told three weeks ago that we’d been green-lit and would have jobs for at least 2 years while we built and launched a new product! The whole studio was basically popping champagne, only to have that pulled out from under us by someone way up the chain at Disney,” he said.
My Take: Club Penguin Island was never able to replace the original PC MMO, Club Penguin, resulting in a major lost in subscribers and as Disney continue to outsource their video and mobile games to external companies. This continues the trend of Disney closing down its gaming studios, which have included recent games like Disney Infinity.
What do you think of Club Penguin Island closing down?