Disney is shutting down Club Penguin, the social network come virtual world come massively multiplayer online game. And with the passing of Club Penguin, the world will lose one of the first online communities Generation Z forged in its own image. Albeit with penguins.
Disney has announced that Club Penguin will shut down on March 29, 2017. A new app called Club Penguin Island, will launch in its place. However, unlike the original Club Penguin, which was available both in browsers and on mobile, Club Penguin Island will only be available on mobile.
Club Penguin launched in 2005, but was quickly gobbled up by Disney Interactive Studios. Since then, millions of people have visited, and at its height in 2013, Club Penguin boasted 200 million registered users. Even now around 5.6 million users visit Club Penguin every month.
So, why is Club Penguin shutting? Because smartphones rule. So Disney are essentially closing down the website to focus solely on a new mobile version called Club Penguin Island. Details are currently thin on the ground, but you can pre-register for Club Penguin Island right now.
A Seemingly Innocuous Backwater of the Web
Anyone over a certain age, which includes the much-maligned millenials, may just now be hearing about Club Penguin for the first time. That’s because Club Penguin was aimed at children, and launched when the internet was already a well established part of everyday life.
However, for those who were venturing onto the internet at a young age, Club Penguin represented a fun place to play before moving onto greener pastures. As an example, Reddit will be filled with people who started out on Club Penguin. Which is why Generation Z will be mourning the death of this seemingly innocuous backwater of the web.
Thankfully for the next generation of youngsters venturing online for the first time there is a plethora of different options open to them. Club Penguin Island is one, as is the new LEGO Life. However, we suspect most kids will head straight for Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat despite the minimum age requirements of those apps.
Are you a member of Club Penguin? Or were you a member at some point over the past 12 years? What’s your abiding memory of Club Penguin? Will you mourn the passing of Club Penguin? Will you be trying Club Penguin Island? Please let us know in the comments below!