Club Penguin Fans Left Hopeful As Creator Suggests Game Could Return
Club Penguin was an online multiplayer game that allowed players to become penguins and explore a virtual world full of adventures, games, and social interactions. Club Penguin grew to become one of the most popular and beloved virtual worlds for kids and teenagers, attracting millions of users worldwide. However, in 2017, the game was shut down, causing widespread sadness among its fans, as per Ladbible. Now to fans' delight, one of the co-creators of the game, Lance Priebe, has hinted that the game might make a comeback.
The game was launched in 2005 by New Horizon Interactive, a Canadian company founded by Lance Priebe, Lane Merrifield and Dave Krysko. In 2007, the game became part of the Walt Disney Company which acquired New Horizon Interactive for $350 million but sadly shut down 10 years later. Being one of the most vocal supporters of Club Penguin's potential return, Lance Priebe reflected in a recent interview with CBC News on his experience of creating Club Penguin and selling it to Disney, saying that he had no regrets about the decision. "No regrets. Disney helped Club Penguin expand worldwide and introduced millions of children to our exciting little world. I'm sad that it ended but I am confident it will one day return."
The reasons behind Club Penguin's closure were multiple, but one of the main factors was the decline of its user base. As reported by The Washington Post in 2017, the game had about 200 million registered accounts, but only 5 million of them were active. Moreover, the game's business model relied on the sale of virtual memberships, which granted access to exclusive features and content, but only a small percentage of players actually purchased them.
No regrets. Disney helped Club Penguin expand world wide and introduced millions of children to our exciting little world. I'm sad that it ended but I am confident it will one day return.— RocketSnail (@rocketsnail) March 14, 2023
This led to a decline in revenue and profitability, which made it harder for Disney to justify the game's maintenance and development costs. Additionally, the rise of mobile gaming and social media platforms, such as Snapchat and Instagram, shifted the attention of younger audiences away from virtual worlds like Club Penguin.
Despite its closure, Club Penguin remains a fond memory for many people who grew up playing it. The game offered a safe and fun environment where players could express themselves, make friends, and learn new things. It also had a strong community aspect, with players creating their own clubs, parties, and traditions. Club Penguin was not just a game, but a culture that reflected the values and aspirations of its users. This is why many fans have been hoping for a comeback of the game, either by Disney or by an independent developer who could revive its spirit and charm.
Lance's admission is a big one, even if it's not backed up with any sort of information that hints work is underway to bring it back. He also said there would be one big goal if it did launch again. "Something unique about Club Penguin was that we had the big goal of launching localized content on the same day worldwide," he wrote on Twitter. "As a team, we believed fans from around the world should not have to wait for parties or events in their own language."