Disney’s Club Penguin suffers layoffs

    
16
There's a musical joke here between the layoffs and the big musical showstopper of Frozen, but I'll let you make that one yourselves.

Club Penguin may not be one of the first games you think about when it comes to virtual worlds, but that’s kind of a blind spot; the title has been operating now in the family-friendly market for a decade. Unfortunately, the developers behind the title have taken a bit of a blow now, with Disney reportedly laying off as many as 30 employees in the US, Canada, and the UK.

According to a local news source, the Brighton office is to be shut down outright, which leaves the developer with its LA office and its Canadian office. There’s no official word on numbers or what caused the layoffs beyond a general statement by Disney Interactive about streamlining teams:

Disney Interactive continually looks to find ways to create efficiencies and streamline our operations. As part of this ongoing process, we are consolidating a small number of teams and are undergoing a targeted reduction in workforce.

A former Club Penguin artist issued a blog post last week discussing the game’s growth curve and inevitable decline.

Our condolences to everyone affected by these layoffs.

[Source: Castanet and Screenhog via Gamasutra; thanks to Shawn for the tip!]
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Schlag Sweetleaf

Walpurgisnacht
Guest
Walpurgisnacht

I remember playing this game as a kid. Back then, we only had two servers: East & West. I used to have the bitches lining up. I had like 30 girlfriends on there. It was always fun to gather everyone on a server to the dojo for wedding that doesn’t exist. I also had someone take me into their igloo and tried to scam them out of their member’s account. I spent 3 hours buttering them up and they ended up logging off before I could get their info (I think it was bedtime). I also used to get past the profanity filter by spacing out the characters in my words (e.g. S H I T). I used some hacking program and impersonated Rockhopper, a penguin that worked for the company who would come to different servers for some pirate event. I believe he ended up getting fired because they said the Rockhopper stuff was done shortly after my escapade. It’s funny to look back at, but man was I a terrible user. I was (rightly) banned forever.

Cyberlight
Guest
Cyberlight

melissamcdon You could do worse than a trial WoW account. My kids keep making new characters so none have hit the level cap yet. The starting areas seem to be mostly free of people chatting so they’ve not been exposed to the delightful mix of prepubescent angst and illiteracy that passes as online communication these days.

FineFineValentine
Guest
FineFineValentine

Well, like most family friendly online things, the playerbase seems to drop off dramatically when THEY STOP ADVERTISING IT. Happened to Free Realms and Star Wars The Clone Wars for SOE, and as someone who quite enjoys a lot of the cartoons airing on DisneyXD these days (what’s up, Gravity Falls, Star Wars Rebels and Star vs. The Forces of Evil!?), I don’t think I’ve seen a single commercial for Club Penguin in at least a year. Or maybe around Christmas? I know there was a really charming, stop-motion Club Penguin Christmas Special :) 

But yeah; if you don’t constantly remind the young’uns about your product, their ADD-riddled brain will move onto the next thing but quick! I kid, I kid of course… but kids do consume things way faster than adults and teenagers. That’s why being sent to your room for an hour as a kid feels like an eternity whereas an hour FLIES by as an adult. 

I just wonder if Disney’s going to do anything else there? Didn’t they have Toon Town Online way back when as well? They of course have other video game licenses – and it’s not hard to see Disney Infinity or Star Wars stuff being expanded into a Marvel Heroes-type Online game – but it would be a shame if they exited the “family friendly” zone. Hopefully they’ll pull Club Penguin up out of this thing, and/or maybe just make a full blown sequel already. Jeez. Make one that’s 3D already.

SmugglerinaYT
Guest
SmugglerinaYT

This is a shame – Club Penguin is one of the few games my kids keep coming back to.  Any news on how they’re planning to keep up the festival schedule with a reduced crew?  That was one of the things my son was commenting on the other day, Club Penguin always has something in the works.

EBreezy
Guest
EBreezy

melissamcdon Amazing World seems cute. Then, there’s World of Dragons. My kids loves Lego Minifigs Online.  There’s one more that I can’t think of that was pretty nice. It taught about upcycling and gave kids projects to do offline.

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

Craw jgauthier45 Nordavind Aye. It’s then the copyright to the early worlds of Dinsey expire. They should have expired many, many years ago, but some big companies, Disney including, does keep getting the limit raised. The last time they called the Act for “The Mickey Mouse Protection Act”

They wanted it to last forever.

Craw
Guest
Craw

jgauthier45 Nordavind something about copyrights maybe?

Blackomen
Guest
Blackomen

“Disney Interactive continually looks to find ways to create efficiencies
and streamline our operations. As part of this ongoing process, we are
consolidating a small number of teams and are undergoing a targeted
reduction in workforce.”
TRASLATION to non-bullshit: We didn’t want to keep paying this many people.

schlag sweetleaf
Guest
schlag sweetleaf

melissamcdon jgauthier45