Disney will discontinue the Club Penguin subscription social game for desktop and mobile devices, which has been running for 11 years, and at the same will launch a new mobile game featuring the cartoon aquatic birds in March.
The Mouse House acquired Club Penguin in 2007 in a deal reportedly worth up to $700 million. At one point, Club Penguin had registered more than 200 million accounts on the subscription-based service aimed at young kids; Disney is not disclosing the current number of subscribers.
Club Penguin announced the change in a blog post Monday. According to Disney, it has built an entirely new mobile-only platform for the new Club Penguin Island game, requiring it to retire the system that has powered the legacy service for more than a decade.
The current game will cease on March 29, 2017, and memberships for desktop Club Penguin and the Club Penguin app will no longer be available for purchase as of Jan. 31, at which time paid member accounts will no longer be charged for the service.
Even with the demise of the existing service, Club Penguin promised “an amazing new product, Club Penguin Island” — set to launch in March — that “offers a uniquely penguin experience, with new features and gameplay, making it more fun than ever,” according to the post.
Current Club Penguin players in select territories can preregister their new penguin name on the Club Penguin Island website (link here) by Feb. 16. Those who preregister will receive “exclusive in-game rewards” when they log in for the first time.
The cost of Club Penguin has been $7.95 per month (or $19.95 for three months). Disney has not announced pricing for Club Penguin Island, but says it’s expected to be in line with the previous cost of Club Penguin membership or potentially slightly less.