×

Disney to Shut Down Club Penguin Island by End of 2018, Lays Off Staff

Disney tried to save the Club Penguin kids multiplayer gaming franchise with a mobile reboot last yearClub Penguin Island — but now has decided to shut down the whole thing.

“There’s no easy way to say this but after 13 incredible years, Club Penguin will be sunsetting at the end of this year,” Club Penguin Island wrote in a notice to subscribers Thursday.

Disney acquired Club Penguin in 2007 in a deal reportedly worth up to $700 million. At one point, Club Penguin had more than 200 million registered accounts on the subscription-based service aimed at young kids. (Disney has not recently disclosed subscriber numbers.)

According to gaming news site Kotaku, several dozen employees at Club Penguin’s studio in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, were informed on Tuesday that they would be losing their jobs as a result of the decision to shutter the game.

Disney has offered some features of Club Penguin Island for free, like letting players build an igloo and attend special events, as in the predecessor game. For full membership, Club Penguin Island was priced at $4.99 per month — well below the previous Club Penguin cost of $7.95 per month.

When Disney announced the shutdown of the original Club Penguin game in January 2017, the company said it was building a new mobile-only platform for the new Club Penguin Island game, in a bid to attract new users that are predominantly using smartphones. In a nutshell, Disney believed it was going to be more feasible and cost effective to create something from scratch rather than try to retrofit the systems that powered the service for more than a decade.

Club Penguin’s Sept. 27 notice about the shutdown said it will be providing players “with all the necessary information in the coming weeks via in-game messages and updates here on Island News.”

According to the Club Penguin team, fans of the game had adopted some 25 million Puffles — the fuzzy in-game pets — and created more than 200,000 videos over the life of the game.

More Digital

  • Pandora voice mode

    Pandora Launches Voice Mode for Everyone

    After first launching a limited beta earlier this year, Pandora opened up its mobile voice control to all of its iOS and Android users Tuesday. The new feature allows users to ask for songs, albums, playlists, stations, and even soundtracks for activities or times of day, with simple voice commands. Pandora’s voice mode is similar [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    Netflix Target of Shareholder Lawsuits After Q2 Subscriber Shortfall

    Like clockwork, Netflix’s big miss on subscriber targets for the second quarter of 2019 have prompted lawsuits filed on behalf of shareholders. At least two suits seeking class-action standing were filed Monday, by the Rosen Law Firm and Schall Law Firm, which both specialize in investor litigation. The lawsuits allege Netflix violated SEC regulations by [...]

  • AMC’s Streamer Acorn TV Hires Kerensa

    AMC-Owned Streamer Acorn TV Hires Former Filmstruck Exec as International Boss

    Former Filmstruck International general manager Kerensa Samanidis has been appointed Acorn TV’s first international chief. As general manager, international, she will spearhead the growth of the AMC Networks-owned streamer outside of North America and Latin America. Last year, Acorn TV expanded into Australia, and New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and Scandinavia. In the newly-created international [...]

  • apple AR patent application

    Apple Patents Gesture, Expression Tracking for Mixed Reality Headset

    Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset could include a number of sensors to track the eyes, gestures and even facial expressions of its users. The company applied for a patent to track these kinds of inputs, and combine them with information gathered from outward-facing sensors for mixed reality experiences. The patent application in question, simply titled [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor Comic Con

    Comic-Con: Marvel 'Shock and Awe' Strategy Dominates Twitter Buzz

    Disney’s Marvel Studios handily won the hype trophy from this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego. Marvel Studios — which returned to the 2019 Comic-Con stage with a chock-full Phase 4 slate of announcements — dominated the discussion on Twitter out of the convention, capturing the biggest volume of buzz for nine of the top 10 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content