The last remnants of Club Penguin are sunsetting, again, as Disney lays off Club Penguin Island staff

    
9

Back in 2017, Disney announced that it was shutting down kid-friendly MMO Club Penguin after 12 years of play, replacing it with a new MMO Club Penguin Island on the same day. Now Club Penguin Island is sunsetting too; Disney says it’s lights out at the end of the year.

The official statement from Disney praises the game as a “true passion project” in a franchise with “over 200 million accounts,” but it doesn’t clearly state a reason for the shutdown. An internal memo leaked to Kotaku, however, cites “increasing global competition” and a desire to “reduce [the] workforce” to “reduce costs further and become more competitive.”

Adding the over 500 game industry workers laid off from various studios in the last month, Disney has apparently let go “dozens” of people who worked on CPI, all based out of a studio in Kelowna, British Columbia.

“There aren’t many opportunities in a city like Kelowna, so most of us will have to move our families if we want to pursue games,” an affected staffer reportedly told Kotaku. “It’s a huge blow to all of us.” Another said he was “blindsided” – that the devs had been “told three weeks ago that [they’d] been green-lit and would have jobs for at least 2 years” while working on a new game. “The whole studio was basically popping champagne, only to have that pulled out from under us by someone way up the chain at Disney,” he relayed.

The only saving grace here is that Disney granted employees “about five weeks of severance and benefits for one month.” Additional shutdown information is forthcoming. Our hearts go out to the players and rank-and-file developers affected by the sunset.

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

Disney buys rights to game, which they then shut down and replace with their own version of said game, which they almost immediately shut down as well. That’s some great business acumen there.

Reader
Aluminum Man

Assuming it’s mostly kids who play this there’s a hard lesson learned early. Yes kids, someone can take away your online fun for no adequately explained reason. Save those screenshots!

Sympathy for the devs too – that sounds like a serious case of job whiplash and I’ve been there myself.

Reader
Wilhelm Arcturus

I am sure there is a lesson here about shutting down a popular game and opening up a sequel on another platform and just assuming that your long standing customers will happily follow rather than feeling hurt and betrayed, but given how Star Wars is going under Disney I am sure nobody there will notice.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Schlag Sweetleaf
Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Schlag Sweetleaf

.

club mickey manhattan.gif
Reader
Armsman

Dammit Schlag!!! You really want me to kill my PC by spraying Coke out in laughter, don’t you?

(I clicked on the article because hey, Disney, never heard of the game previously, but the above graphic is hilarious/spot on as usual.)

Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Schlag Sweetleaf

Ty Armsman:), I was pleased w/ this one as well. Turned out better than I expected. Hopefully not too mean spirited for those who played Club Penguin..

packagegrope
Reader
packagegrope

time to speed run getting banned from this one.

deekay_000
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_000

if they don’t want to move from kelowna i can’t imagine the weed business being worse than working in the video game industry.