About a year and a half after the Disney Canada team shut down the original, long-running Club Penguin, the same fate has fallen on their much younger, mobile follow-up, Club Penguin Island. A farewell announcement was made on September 27th revealing that the game would be around at least until the end of the year. The team’s farewell post can be found here and follows below:
To our Club Penguin Fans and Family:
There’s no easy way to say this but after 13 incredible years, Club Penguin will be sunsetting at the end of this year. We’ll be providing players with all the necessary information in the coming weeks via in-game messages and updates here on Island News.
Thanks to you, Club Penguin has been more than a game; it’s been a global community where you have gathered to socialize and express yourselves. In a time when games come and go within months, it was one of the longest-running kids’ games of all time and at its height, had over 200 million accounts. Players from countries around the world showed their commitment to the game by adopting 25 million Puffles and creating over 200,000 videos.
When we replaced the original Club Penguin game a year and a half ago, we always strived to make Club Penguin Island the best mobile successor to the original game. From day one of development, Club Penguin Island has been a true passion project for everyone here at Disney but, the time has come for the party to end.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued dedication to the Club Penguin and Club Penguin Island games and for being a member of our family. We are so grateful to have shared in this journey with you. We’re excited to bring you more new experiences around all of Disney’s beloved characters and stories across all platforms.
Please look out for more information soon and as always, waddle on.
– Club Penguin Team
Unfortunately, this wasn’t a decision that was left up to the team. According to Kotaku, they were informed just days before of the decision to shut down the game and lay off the team.
One former employee, who is anonymous for fear of retribution, told Kotaku that he felt “blindsided” by the news. Although employees working on the game knew Club Penguin Island wasn’t doing well, he said, the studio had been pitching other projects. “We were told three weeks ago that we’d been green-lit and would have jobs for at least 2 years while we built and launched a new product! The whole studio was basically popping champagne, only to have that pulled out from under us by someone way up the chain at Disney.” –Kotaku
I’ll add the game to the Watch List calendar for a temporary December 31st deadline and be back with more when the team updates again.