After over a decade of fun and adventure, Disney's massively-popular online kids game Club Penguin is shutting down for good. Last year the original web game was laid to rest, and then revived as Club Penguin Island: a mobile reboot. Yesterday, the official Club Penguin Island website confirmed the news, and issued a bittersweet note which began:
"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."
At one time boasting hundreds of millions of subscribers, Club Penguin has in recent years slipped into a bit of a decline. Club Penguin Island seems to have been a last-ditch effort to revive the service on mobile, where many other franchises are currently booming, but the damage was done. It simply was not profitable, and after widely-reported layoffs, it appears that the decision has been made to just put the project to rest completely.
It was fun while it lasted, though. The announcement, while somber, is also full of good memories. "Thanks to you," the statement reads, "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."
An exact date was not shared, and at the time we don't know exactly how much time Club Penguin Island players have before everything comes to an end. If you have little ones who enjoy playing, you may want to encourage them to play while they can, or else ease them off of the game bit by bit so it doesn't sting as much when they can't play anymore.
Our thoughts do go out to the Disney employees who are affected by this. Apparently news of the closure and of the impending layoffs was sudden, and unexpected. According to Kotaku, sacked employees can expect a month of severance and benefits, but many were under the impression that they were staying on to start on new projects. We wish them well in their new ventures.