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Club Penguin
Disney Club Penguin Logo.svg
Developer(s) Rocketsnail
Publisher(s) New Horizon Interactive
Engine Adobe Flash
Platform(s) Onlineand book
Release date(s) October 24, 2005
Genre(s) MMOG
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Club Penguin was a massively multiplayer online game (MMO), involving a virtual world that contained a range of online games and activities. It was created by New Horizon Interactive (now known as Disney Canada Inc.). Players used cartoon penguin-avatars and played in a winter-set virtual world. After beta-testing, Club Penguin was made available to the general public on October 24, 2005, and expanded into a large online community, such that by late 2007, it was claimed Club Penguin had over 30 million user accounts. As of July 2013, Club Penguin had over 200 million registered user accounts.

The first seeds of what would become Club Penguin began as a Flash 4 web-based game called Snow Blasters that developer Lance Priebe had been developing in his spare time in July 2000. Priebe's attention was brought to penguins after he "happened to glance at a Far Side cartoon featuring penguins that was sitting on his desk".

The game was specifically designed for children aged 6 to 14 (however, users of any age were allowed to play Club Penguin). Thus, a major focus of the developers was on child safety, with a number of features having been introduced to the game to facilitate this. These features included offering an "Ultimate Safe Chat" mode.

On January 30, 2017, it was announced that the game would be discontinued on March 29, 2017. Club Penguin later shut down its servers on March 30, 2017. The game was replaced by a successor, titled Club Penguin Island.

Plot and gameplay

Club Penguin was divided into various rooms and distinct areas. Each player was provided with an igloo for a home. Members had the option of opening their igloo so other penguins could access it. Members could also purchase larger igloos and decorate their igloos with items bought with virtual coins earned by playing mini-games.

At least one party per month was held on Club Penguin. In most cases, a free clothing item was available, both for paid members and free users. Some parties also provided member-only rooms which only paid members could access. Some major Club Penguin parties were its annual Halloween and Holiday parties. Other large parties included the Music Jam, the Adventure Party, the Puffle Party, and the Medieval Party.

Puffles

Puffles were the penguin's pets. If you did not give your puffle(s) enough food, play or sleep, it would return to the wild and you would never see it again. You could always adopt another puffle, there were aslo many items that could be purchased for them.

Franchise

Nintendo DS

Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force was released by Disney for the Nintendo DS in November 25, 2008. The game featured mini-games from Club Penguin. A sequel, Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force: Herbert's Revenge, was released May 2010. A "mysterious penguin" resembling previously established character Dot the Disguise Gal was a major character in the game.

Nintendo Wii

In 2010, Disney Interactive Studios announced plans for Club Penguin: Game Day!, a game for the Wii. Reportedly, the game would involve players working as a team trying to earn sections of land on an island, with the objective being to conquer the island.

Television special

A Christmas TV special based on the game, titled We Wish You a Merry Walrus, was produced by British company Factory, and aired on Disney Channel in the UK on December 17, 2014. A summer special, titled Monster Beach Party, premiered on the same channel on August 10, 2015. A Halloween special, Halloween Panic!, premiered on Disney Channel UK on October 25, 2015.

Books

In honor of Club Penguin third anniversary in 2008, Club Penguin released books. Outside of the virtual world included guidebooks for the game as well as "choose-your-own-adventure"-style books. The series includes The Ultimate Official Guide to Club Penguin Volume 1 by Ladybird Books, Stowaway! Adventures at Sea by Tracey West, Stuck on Puffles by Ladybird Books, and Waddle Lot of Laughs by Rebecca McCarthy.

Club Penguin Island

As of mid-November 2016, Disney Interactive advertised a related but separate mobile gaming environment named "Club Penguin Island", to become available in select languages and areas in 2017. On January 30, 2017, it was announced that the original game would be discontinued on March 29, 2017. The game was released worldwide for mobile devices on March 30, 2017, the same day that the servers were shut down.

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