Earlier this week, Disney released an official statement which announced the closing down of Club Penguin, its multiplayer online game/social platform for kids.
Club Penguin is an MMO. This means a massively multiplayer online game. It contains a range of online activities and games. They are structured into a virtual world. The game became available back in 2005.
Since then, it has grown to encompass a large online community. 2013 released figures placed the number of registered users at more than 200 million.
Club Penguin was developed by New Horizon Interactive. Based on its success, the company was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 2007. This later continued developing it.
The MMO is targeted at children in between 6 to 14 years old. However, any interested person can play the game. This led to the introduction of some further safety measures. The developers created, for example, the “Ultimate Safe Chat”.
Club Penguin did face some criticism. And its user number has apparently dropped quite significantly. At least according to media reports. On January 30, Disney released an official announcement. This was posted on the Club Penguin official blog.
And the blog post revealed that the service will be shut down. Both the mobile and desktop device version will be discontinued. And Club Penguin will be closing down on March 29, 2017.
The statement announced that service will be celebrating its 11 years of existence. Starting with February 01, active users will see a huge party.
Disney will not be completely closing down the product. For some time now, it has reportedly been working on a new service. This will be called Club Penguin Island. For the moment, these are the only offered details.
This new product will reportedly offer a “uniquely penguin experience”. It should come with new features. And it will have a new gameplay. This should make it more fun “than ever”, for all its users.
Club Penguin Island will be launched sometime in March. An exact date has yet to be announced. Disney will be discontinuing its current service. Instead, it will be introducing the aforementioned new platform.
Initial reports state that the two platforms will be quite different. They will share a name and the penguin avatars. But apparently not much else.
The kid-friendly social- network/game did not offer an official reason for its closing down. No mention was made in the blog posts. But media reports seem to point out a fact. Club Penguin user numbers have been reportedly going down.
Its page traffic has been reportedly declining for years. In December 2016, the social network was reported to have had an estimated 5.6 million visitors. Most analysts do point out a fact. Its targeted age segment is a competitive area. There are many available apps, service, and platforms. And they are sure to attract and distract the young user’s attention.
Users that wish to try out Club Penguin Island can pre-register. The service will be available until February 16, 2017. This will guarantee exclusive in-game rewards. They will become available once the user logs in on the platform.
Starting with January 31, new Club Penguin memberships have stopped being available. Active users can still enjoy their free or paid memberships. But only until March 29.
Registered paying users will also no longer be charged a recurring payment. Users who wish to terminate their accounts can receive a refund. Details on the matter will be provided via email.
Image Source: Flickr