Disney Disrespect The Fans, But Celebrate Regardless

After running Club Penguin into the ground with their aggressive advertising, the increase of premium content, and the removal of key features, Disney have decided to close the game down in order to further exploit the brand. However, unsatisfied at merely closing Club Penguin down and giving it a nice send off, the company have decided to disrespect its loyal players.

Their blog post announcing the end of Club Penguin on the internet was not a farewell post, it was an advertisement. The post was not a send off or an obituary, the post was merely there to direct you to the imminent Club Penguin Island. The vast majority of Club Penguin’s current player base, including ourselves, will not make the leap to Club Penguin Island. The app is clearly for a new wave of players, they have no real intention of attracting the current crop. And yet, Disney have completely failed to announce the death of a major part of our childhoods in a dignified manner.

Disney’s in-game farewell comes in the form of a 2 month long party. While it is understandable that there needs to be an in game send off of some kind, it is also obvious that people will not appreciate this in party form. The plethora of people who will log into Club Penguin over the next couple of months will not be doing it to experience a party. They will be logging into Club Penguin to be overloaded with nostalgia, to get one last feel of the game before it ends forever. But Disney have insisted on changing the island for the sake of a party. This will hinder the amount of nostalgia that will be felt by people who were once loyal and dedicated fans. Club Penguin does not need a major party as a send off, it needs one monument to say farewell that does not take away from the vanilla Club Penguin that people want to re-experience.

It is the long time fans of the game who no longer play that Disney are truly disrespecting however. When the company decided to axe ToonTown, for the final month or so of the game, everything became available to non-members that they would otherwise not have access to. This is not the case for Club Penguin however, their post is clear in its implication that only those who have paid for memberships that will last until March 29th will enjoy the full experience until that date. Frankly, this is a disgraceful treatment of their customers. It would lose the company almost nothing to simply allow full-membership to all for free for the next couple of months – it is quite evident the game was not making an acceptable revenue anyway. This is completely disrespecting their fans, what is more is that the final day to purchase a membership was the same day they announced the island’s closure – people would not even have a chance to become a member. Not giving full access to the game for the final two months is plain evidence for the lack of respect and care for the community that Disney have, which is what has ultimately led to its death.

I cannot be anything other than sad over the death of a game that has played a major role in my life. But the anger I feel towards the company that ruined it and failed its community has only been exacerbated by the way they have handled its closure. It is clear that I will not be able to remember Club Penguin itself fondly by the restrictions Disney have placed upon it. But I will endeavour to remember this community, the army community, fondly. For us, these last couple of months should not be a final play of Club Penguin the game, they should be a celebration of everything good about the army community. The collective group that has kept Club Penguin alive in our hearts despite every nail that Disney has hammered into its coffin.

I hope to see many old faces over the short period we have left, and I would like to meet many of you who form the current generation. We have all allowed this community to make up part of our lives, and we need to ensure that we use these last two months as a way to remember this, but also to cement this. Let us go out with a bang.

Thank you,

Chrisi Blule

 

2 Responses

  1. Don’t know if you remember me from FGR, here, and other armies, but I’ve always looked up to you.

    Insightful post Chrisi, as expected. While I regret giving them my money, I don’t regret the time spent in CP armies. It was all fun while it lasted, but it’s over. And I damn hope that all of you boycott CPI.

    “Their blog post announcing the end of Club Penguin on the internet was not a farewell post, it was an advertisement. The post was not a send off or an obituary, the post was merely there to direct you to the imminent Club Penguin Island.”

    Indeed. Disney has always been about milking the cash cow that is Club Penguin; they never cared about making a good experience. They cared enough to entice non-members to pay for membership, though.

    And now, their shareholders/accountants/cronies see that it is no longer worth keeping CP up on desktop. They expanded to mobile at first to see if they should keep it or not.

    So, in the malignant tumor that is mobile gaming, Disney is focusing solely on capturing the kiddie market there. They see another cash cow to milk. After all, in our generation of low attention spans and convenience, many are addicted to free-to-play, pay-to-*have-fun* games. They’d be foolish not to capitalize on that.

    Alas, so ends their pretence of making a solid, fun game.

    • Hey of course I remember you Cahill 😀
      Glad you enjoyed and agreed with the post!
      I definitely agree with everything you said there. It’s really sad that they as a company have taken the decision to complete cut Club Penguin. I can’t even imagine CP was making a loss; it’s operating costs surely can’t be that high? But who knows.
      I really doubt their app will succeed though, that market is already far too saturated.

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