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Club Penguin Island shuts down, ushering in the end of an era

We weep, we mourn — gone you are, Club Penguin, but never forgotten

Club Penguin Island town square Disney Interactive
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

We’ll be saying a final goodbye to a beloved franchise of our youths, Club Penguin, when the company shuts its doors at the end of the year. It announced the closure on a blog post, promising to provide players with necessary updates.

While we had previously bid farewell to the browser version, Club Penguin followed that shutdown with Club Penguin Island — the grown-up, mobile answer to the kid-friendly online game.

Club Penguin Island launched in 2017, the day after Club Penguin the browser game shut down. It received mixed reviews, with many fans of the original Club Penguin feeling like it never quite reached the charm of the online game. The unreliable servers and the comparatively bland offerings didn’t hit the mark. But still, it was the last legacy of an era gone by, one where tipping an untippable iceberg was the biggest problem and where getting banned became a game of its own.

Kotaku reported that Disney Canada — where Club Penguin is located — was informed of this closure on Tuesday. Staffers felt “blindsided” by the decision, with an anonymous employee telling Kotaku that they were told just three weeks ago that projects would be greenlit, and that they’d have job security for another two years.

“The whole studio was basically popping champagne, only to have that pulled out from under us by someone way up the chain at Disney,” he said.

The official ending of Club Penguin is a tad belated, but still, it leaves a bittersweet spot in our hearts. Instead of clinging to the remnants of a beloved, yet dying, franchise, we can send it off into the good night and give it thanks for the memories it gave us.

“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,” wrote the team on the Club Penguin blog. “We are so grateful to have shared in this journey with you.”

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