|Platform||Web Browser – Shockwave Flash|
|Developer||New Horizon Interactive Studios (originally)|
|Publisher||Disney Canada Inc. (formerly known as Disney Online Studios Canada Inc.)|
|ESRB rating||Mild Cartoon Violence|
|Date released||August 22, 2005 (Beta Testing)|
October 24, 2005 (full release)
|“||Waddle around and meet new friends!||”|
— Club Penguin's official motto.
Club Penguin was an online-based, massively multiplayer online game (abbreviated as a MMO) created by Disney Canada Inc. (previously New Horizons Interactive) in the summer of 2005. It had a public Beta Testing in August 2005, and was officially launched on October 24, 2005. It was later bought by Disney in August 2007. It involved a virtual world, where the players were penguins, and was featuring a large range of minigames and other online activities, and was based on a snowy island, after which the game was named.
Club Penguin has been noted as sharing similarities with other popular browser-based online environments such as RuneScape and Habbo Hotel, such as the use of an in-game currency to purchase virtual items and pets, named "puffles". The game was specifically designed for players within the ages of 6-14 (however all ages can play), thus child safety was a vital responsibility of the game's developers. The game was founded by Lance Priebe, and co-founded by Lane Merrifield, and Dave Krysko. There were over 330,000,000 penguin accounts created and played in over 190 countries. It was estimated that over 150 million people worldwide play Club Penguin, which was originally built on a Smart Fox Server. Their headquarters was located in Kelowna, Canada.
In 2000, Lance Priebe had been working at the company New Horizon Interactive in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. He had the idea about creating an online snowball war game that would involve penguins. They originally chose penguins because they were easy to animate and Lance was inspired by a picture in the newspaper of a penguin slipping on a banana peel. His friend, Lane Merrifield, who was also working for the company at the time, told him that they should take Lance's idea to create a virtual world for kids, and expand on it to make a whole island full of places to explore and things to do. They asked their boss, Dave Krysko, if they could go on to make this idea, and he said to go for it. And so, the two set out to make it happen. To start off, Lance Priebe created his own website, Rocketsnail Games. This site would soon include the game that would inspire the creation of Club Penguin: Experimental Penguins.
Experimental Penguins was a small game that was moderately popular. Players could create a penguin that could waddle around and chat. Then the idea got much bigger. Penguin Chat and Penguin Chat 3 came along, with things such as ninjas and Snow Trekkers (or Snowcats), which would later be incorporated into Club Penguin. Lane and Lance knew that they had to take the small game that Penguin Chat 3 was and make it so big that children all over the world could connect and play together. They thought of names such as World of Penguins and Penguin Land, but they eventually settled on one name: Club Penguin, because they wanted their players to feel as part of a community since the virtual world itself was meant to be a community.
The development for the duo's dream game, Club Penguin, had begun. The two, who were now known in the game as Rsnail and Billybob, hired Gizmo as a moderator and Screenhog as an artist and sound manager. They created Club Penguin with no external funding, and eventually created a few basic rooms and interface. In August 2005, the small team of developers put up a beta website, where people could beta test the game and search for bugs and glitches. Beta Testing had done so well to help the game that the team decided to throw a Beta Test Party, to show appreciation to the penguins who had helped them make sure Club Penguin was ready for launch. The Beta Test Party began on September 21, 2005, and only lasted for two hours. After one more month of beta testing, Club Penguin was ready for public official launch. Its doors were opened on October 24, 2005. Millions of penguins signed up. Days after, Club Penguin released its first ever major party: the Halloween Party 2005. In November 2005, round fluff balls called Puffles started appearing at the Snow Forts. They became adoptable as pets on March 17, 2006, in the Pet Shop in the Plaza. That year, Club Penguin had hired Chris Gliddon, also known as Polo Field, as Club Penguin's historian, and he soon became head of social media. Club Penguin had reached hundreds of employees by late 2006, and it soon became one of the most popular virtual worlds around. Many new locations and games had been added to the island. In August 2007, Club Penguin was looking for a business partner to reach out to more children and families across the globe. They chose The Walt Disney Company, the world's leading source of family entertainment. With Disney, Club Penguin was able to do more things that they could not do before. From then on, New Horizon Interactive became known as Disney Online Studios Canada. In October 2008, for Club Penguin's 3rd Anniversary Party, the first plush and figurine toys were released. There was a big party in Times Square in New York City to celebrate three years of Club Penguin.
In 2010, both Rsnail and Screenhog left the game. Rsnail left Club Penguin to pursue a new project, Mech Mice. In October 2012, Billybob left the game to create new educational technology for schools. Chris Heatherly, also known as Spike Hike, took over as General Manager and Vice President of the company the following February. In early April 2013, social media staff member and moderator Businesmoose left Club Penguin to work on Mech Mice with Rsnail and Screenhog. On June 19, 2013, Club Penguin created their own official Facebook page. They will post sneak peeks and their own history on their page.
After 11 years of activity, the Club Penguin Team decided to discontinue the game and fully focus on Club Penguin Island. The game was discontinued on March 30, 2017, as announced on the What's New Blog. The Waddle On Party was its last party, as a farewell to the original game.
While Club Penguin's website most often redirects to its successor's page, occasionally it gives a message with a Brown Puffle, or another message, stating the following:
|“||Be Right Back! We're busy updating stuff behind the scenes. We'll be fully up and running soon. Thank you for your patience!||”|
— The Club Penguin Team
|“||Thank you for making Club Penguin so incredibly inspiring. Waddle on, everyone!||”|
— The Club Penguin Team
In Club Penguin, players create and control cartoon penguin avatars to move around the island. Although the game is free to play, players can purchase membership and get extra special features such as purchasing clothing, decorating igloos, and much more.
Players also had the opportunity to earn stamps, role-play, have snowball fights, play mini-games, and interact with other players around the world. Players who misbehaved and broke the rules were immediately punished and could be banned from the game.
The game can be played in full screen or smaller screen. This feature required refreshing the game, but a later update allowed resizing with no need to log in again.
The game resolution can be changed as well from high quality to low, by pressing the hyphen key (-).
On August 1, 2007, Club Penguin was bought by The Walt Disney Company. Club Penguin joined Disney so they could help spread Club Penguin throughout the world in many different countries, in many different languages. Disney would also help make Club Penguin much better and much safer for their players.
Disney purchased Club Penguin for the initial price of 350 million United States Dollars, with an additional 350 million dollars in bonuses provided specific targets were met by 2009.
On August 20, 2013, Disney announced they would close 4 games to focus on Club Penguin and other mobile apps.
On September 2, 2015, Club Penguin stopped supporting two languages, German and Russian.
- Main article: Sponsored Parties and Events
In the summer of 2012, Club Penguin was sponsored by Marvel, Shake it Up, and Innocent Fruit Smoothies. In the summer of 2013, Club Penguin teamed up with Pixar Animation Studios to create the Monsters University Takeover, with Lucasfilm to create the Star Wars Takeover, and Disney Channel for the Teen Beach Movie Summer Jam. The Marvel Super Hero Takeover also returned in 2013. In 2014, Club Penguin hosted the Muppets World Tour. Players believe Club Penguin partnered with these companies to increase revenue and ultimately try to draw in more players.
- Main article: Merchandise
Club Penguin first started selling merchandise in 2006 on their online store. In 2007, when Club Penguin was bought by Disney, they decided to make toys available in more places besides online. On October 24, 2008, Club Penguin toys were shipped to stores all around the world, where players could buy them at their nearest supermarket.
Club Penguin has sold merchandise such as stuffed plush penguins, and stuffed puffles, mix and match figures (in which head, body, some items, and lower parts of a penguin come off to mix with another set or another penguin in the same set) and Card-Jitsu cards; including Card-Jitsu Fire and Water cards.
Ten books, such as "The Ultimate Official Club Penguin Guide Volume 1", "The Official Stage Playbook", "Secret Agent Handbook", "Stowaway! Adventures at Sea" and "Waddle Lot of Laughs", The Great Puffle Switch, Dancing with Cadence, Shadow Guy and Gamma Gal: Heroes Unite, Stuck on Puffles, and The Card-Jitsu Handbook are all created by the Snowball Press, also known as Club Penguin Headquarters. There is also a Club Penguin annual that comes out every year. It is only available for a limited time on the book codes page.
Club Penguin has owned a YouTube channel since 2011. A Club Penguin Animated Short series began on December 3rd, 2011. It sometimes airs on Disney XD and Disney Channel. Starting in 2014, TV Specials started to air on Disney Channel.
|500-1628 Dickson Avenue, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada VIY 9X1||Canada||Headquarters|
|Disney Online Studios, London Gate, 72 Dyke Road Drive, Brighton, BN1 6AJ||UK||Office (closed)|
|Av. das Nações Unidas, 12.551, 10º andar Brooklin São Paulo, SP 04578-903 Brazil||Brazil||Office|
|Av. del Libertador 890, B1638BEU Vicente López, Buenos Aires, Argentina||Argentina||Office|
Club Penguin was available in six different languages.
|Language||Date added||Date removed|
|English||Original language||March 30, 2017|
|Portuguese||October 15, 2008|
|French||February 10, 2009|
|Spanish||June 29, 2009|
|German||November 3, 2011||September 2, 2015|
|Russian||February 6, 2014|
Awards and achievements
Club Penguin has been recognized with the following rewards:
- 2009 Webby Awards
- Wired Kids: Best of the Web Award 2009
- Parents Choice Recommended- Gold Award- 2008
- Children's Technology Review- Editor's Choice
- N.A.P.P.A. Gold 2008
- Kidspot- Best of 2008
- Entertainment Standard of Excellence- WebAwards- 2009
- BAFTA Awards- Nominee
- Better Business Bureau - Kid's Privacy Seal of Approval.
- Better Business Bureau- 2008 Torch Award
- Rsnail came up with the idea for Club Penguin one day in 2004 while watching the news.
- Club Penguin was designed to add and update rooms forever.
- Club Penguin has had over 330 million registered users and 30,000 log in everyday.
- In 2005–2007, news about Club Penguin spread very quickly. They never advertised at all until Disney bought Club Penguin.
- Club Penguin started out with 10 employees, but grew to over 100 by the end of 2006.
- During the Puffle Party 2012, Club Penguin was renamed Club Puffle temporarily for the party.
- 200 different Club Penguin employees received 40,000 emails every week, and they replied to every single one of them.
- Club Penguin has a revenue of 50 million dollars.
- Club Penguin's business number was 1-888-861-4111, and their email was firstname.lastname@example.org.
- It was known as the "Big Update" during Penguin Chat 3, but was later renamed Club Penguin.
- While coming up with ideas, the Club Penguin team was originally going to call Club Penguin similar names such as "Penguin World" or "Penguin Land" or "World of Penguins." Eventually, they settled on Club Penguin, after thinking that it should be more like a club, or community.
- The Club Penguin artists worked with Adobe Photoshop on a Wacom Pen Display.
- Until July 2011, Club Penguin updated on Fridays, but they started updating around Wednesday night/Thursday morning. However, Club Penguin would sometimes update on Fridays if they had to delay updates.
- Club Penguin has had partnerships with a range of international organizations like Global Penguin Society, Rare, Playground Builders, Wildlife Conservation Network, Partners In Health, WAR CHILD, Partners in the Horn of Africa and Free the Children. Together with Free the Children, Club Penguin conducted Think:WE!, a motivational speaking tour and leadership program for school children aged 8–14.
- Sony was about to buy Club Penguin in 2007. However, Sony lost against Disney.
- Important Announcement Regarding Club Penguin on Desktop and Mobile Devices
- Project: Super Secret... Revealed!
- Important Announcement Regarding Club Penguin on Desktop and Mobile Devices
- Welcome Brazil!
- Welcome French!
- Welcome Spanish!
- Important News About Club Penguin in the Russian and German Languages
- Club Penguin Island's Official Website
- Club Penguin Entertainment Inc
- The official game tutorial
- Wikipedia article on Club Penguin
- Club Penguin's website prior to its purchase by Disney.
- Club Penguin's pre-Disney introduction video