Remember way back in 2017, when Disney shut down the long-running Club Penguin MMO in order to replace it with Club Penguin Island? And then Club Penguin Island was abruptly sunsetted in 2018, blindsiding its developers? Then there was a Club Penguin rogue server, but it turned out to be kind of awful, and it was shut down by Disney. In short, this game is cursed.
But apparently, there was another rogue server out there, Club Penguin Rewritten. And Disney didn’t like it. So Disney did the only reasonable thing: It provoked UK police to take over the site and arrest three people “on suspicion of copyright infringement.” I’m sure you all feel much safer knowing that these dangerous reprobate criminals are locked up so they can’t copyright infringe any other $240B companies so they can play an old dead game about cartoon penguins. Phew!
According to TechCrunch, the trio of alleged emu operators were “released under investigation” and agreed to “sign over the website to the control” of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, which is a real thing. The server is now shut down, and the Discord has been all but wiped, through the Reddit is quickly filling with the lamentations of affected players.
It’s not entirely clear why Disney decided to strike now, though TechCrunch theorizes that the website itself was generating ad revenue. It’s also possible that this rogue server was as awful as or worse than the last one and Disney could no longer let the server go on (as it clearly has turned a blind eye to some emulators for other IPs it owns). So while it’s tempting to go full “game preservation” on this one, we just don’t have the full story yet.
More discussion on game preservation: