Club Penguin has been around ever since I was a kid. I remember putting literally dozens and dozens of hours into this game and never getting bored of it. Let me tell you this though: the history of this game has a lot of twists and turns. To explain the complicated history of this game, I am going to break it down into sections by years. Let me get into it.
There were a lot of versions of the game to come out before the actual Club Penguin we know and love did. The game started off as a Flash 4 game called Snow Blasters. It then morphed into a game called Experimental Penguins. After that it went into more of a chat-based product with Penguin Chat. After this, an updated version called Penguin Chat 2 came out, which was later used as the first stepping stone to the actual Club Penguin game.
The first version of Club Penguin went live in 2005 based mainly off of Penguin Chat 2. In two years, the game had 3.9 million users and was established as a solid online game in the industry. The company was mostly making money off of the paid version of the game, which was a monthly fee. This all changed when the entire company was acquired by Disney in 2007 for a sum of 350.93 million dollars. Not bad for an online penguin game.
Once the game was bought by Disney, everything started to change. The game continued to grow at a fast pace and started coming out with video games, books and even a TV special. Disney does what it does best and branded the absolute crap out of Club Penguin. An app was also released which mainly had players taking care of Puffles, the in-game pet.
Sadly, the branding and expanding which flooded the Club Penguin world marked the decline of Club Penguin as a whole. Disney realized they could make way more money having Club Penguin be a normal video game which can be branded and made into more media than it could with it being an online game. Layoffs started to come quickly, and in 2017, they announced the end of the game. On March 30th, 2017, the servers were shut down for good. What is funny is that you can actually play the game still, as fans of the original game created Club Penguin Rewritten. This allows fans to use a similar version of the game for free without a lot of the updates which came later on. I have played this version of the game and it is honestly just ok. Maybe I am just older, but it doesn’t have the same magic as the original. I would still recommend playing it though.
Well, there you have it, the long history of Club Penguin. Fans watched as Club Penguin went from an unknown chat game to a full-fledged world purchased by Disney. What a wild ride.