|Developer||New Horizon Interactive Studios|
|Publisher||Disney Online Studios (Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada)|
|ESRB rating||Mild Cartoon Violence|
|Date released|| August 22, 2005 (Beta Testing)|
October 24, 2005 (Full release)
|“||Waddle around and meet new friends!||”|
— Club Penguin's official motto.
- For Club Penguin's domain, see ClubPenguin.com.
Club Penguin is an online-based, massively multiplayer online role-playing game (abbreviated as a MMORPG) created by New Horizon Interactive in the summer of 2005. It had a public Beta Testing in August 2005, and was officially launched on October 24, 2005. It was bought by Disney. It involves a virtual world, where the players are penguins, and is featuring a large range of minigames and other online activities, and is based on a snowy island, after which the game is named.
Club Penguin has been noted as sharing similarities with other popular browser-based online environments such as RuneScape and Habbo Hotel, such as the use of an in-game currency to purchase virtual items and pets, named "puffles". The game is specifically designed for players within the ages of 6-14, thus child safety is a vital responsibility of the game's developers. The game was founded by Lance Priebe, and co-founded by Lane Merrifield, and Dave Krysko. There are over 200,000,000 penguin accounts created and played in over 190 countries. It is now estimated that over 150 million people worldwide play the game, which was originally built on a Smart Fox Server. Their headquarters is in Kelowna, Canada.
In 2000, Lance Priebe had been working at the company New Horizon Interactive in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. He had the idea about creating an online snowball war game that involved penguins. His friend, Lane Merrifield, who was also working for the company at the time, told him that should take Lance's idea to create a virtual world for kids, and expand on it to make a whole island full of places to explore and things to do. They asked their boss, Dave Krysko, if they could go on to make this idea, and he said to go for it. And so, the two set out to make it happen. To start off, Lance Priebe created his own website, Rocketsnail Games. This site would soon include the game that would inspire the creation of Club Penguin: Experimental Penguins.
Experimental Penguins was a small game that wasn't very popular. Players could create a penguin that could waddle around, chat and throw snowballs. Then the idea got much bigger. Penguin Chat and Penguin Chat 3 came along, with things such as ninjas and Snow Trekkers (or Snowcats), which would later be incorporated into Club Penguin. Lane and Lance knew that they had to take the small game that Penguin Chat 3 was and make it so big that children all over the world could connect and play together. They thought of names such as World of Penguins and Penguin Land, but they eventually settled on one name: Club Penguin, because they wanted their players to feel as part of a community.
The development for the duo's dream game, Club Penguin, had begun. The two, who were now known in the game as Rsnail and Billybob, hired Gizmo as a moderator and Screenhog as an artist and sound manager. They created Club Penguin with no external funding, and eventually created a few basic rooms and interface. In August 2005, the small team of developers put up a beta website, where people could beta test the game and search for bugs and glitches. Beta Testing had done so well to help the game that the team decided to throw a Beta Party, to show appreciation to the penguins who had helped them make sure Club Penguin was ready for launch. The Beta Test Party began on September 21, 2005, and only lasted for two hours. After one more month of beta testing, Club Penguin was ready for public official launch. Its doors were opened on October 24, 2005. Millions of penguins signed up. Days after, Club Penguin released its first ever major party: the Halloween Party 2005. In November 2005, round fluff balls called Puffles started appearing at the Snow Forts. They became adoptable as pets on March 17, 2006, in the Pet Shop in The Plaza. That year, Club Penguin had hired Chris Gliddon, also known as Polo Field, as Club Penguin's historian, and he soon became head of social media. Club Penguin had reached hundreds of employees by late 2006, and it soon became one of the most popular virtual worlds around. Many new locations and games had been added to the island. In August 2007, Club Penguin was looking for a business partner to reach out to more children and families across the globe. They chose The Walt Disney Company, the world's leading source of family entertainment. With Disney, Club Penguin was able to do more things that they couldn't do before. From then on, New Horizon Interactive became known as Disney Online Studios Canada. In October 2008, for Club Penguin's 3rd Anniversary Party, the first plush and figurine toys were released. There was a big party in Times Square in New York City to celebrate three years of Club Penguin.
In 2010, both Rsnail and Screenhog left the game. Rsnail left Club Penguin to pursue a new project, Mech Mice. In October 2012, Billybob left the game to create new educational technology for schools. Chris Heatherly, also known as Spike Hike, took over as General Manager and Vice President of the company the following February. In early April 2013, social media staff member and moderator Businesmoose left Club Penguin to work on Mech Mice with Rsnail and Screenhog.
In Club Penguin, players create and control cartoon, penguin avatars to move about the island. Although the game is free to play, players can purchase membership and get extra special features such as purchasing clothing, decorating igloos, and much more.
Players also have the opportunity to earn stamps, role-play, have snowball fights, play mini-games, and interact with other players around the world. Players who misbehave and break the rules are immediately punished and could be banned from the game.
The game can be played in full screen or smaller screen. This feature required refreshing the game, but a later update allowed resizing with no need to log in again.
The game resolution can be changed as well from high quality to low, by pressing the hyphen key (-).
On August 1, 2007, Club Penguin was bought by The Walt Disney Company. Club Penguin joined Disney so they could help spread Club Penguin throughout the world in many different countries, in many different languages. Disney would also help make Club Penguin much better and much safer for their players.
Disney purchased Club Penguin for the initial price of 350 million United States Dollars, with an additional 350 million dollars in bonuses provided specific targets were met by 2009.
In the summer of 2012, Club Penguin was sponsored by Marvel, Disney's Shake it Up, and Innocent Fruit Smoothies. Players believe Club Penguin partnered with these companies to increase revenue and ultimately try to draw in more players.
Club Penguin first started selling merchandise in 2006 on their online store. In 2007, when Club Penguin was bought by Disney, they decided to make toys available in more places besides online. So on October 24, 2008, Club Penguin toys were shipped to stores all around the world, where players could buy them at their nearest supermarket.
Club Penguin has sold merchandise such as stuffed plush penguins, and stuffed puffles, mix and match figures (in which head, body, some items, and lower parts of a penguin come off to mix with another set or another penguin in the same set) and Card-Jitsu cards; including Card-Jitsu Fire and Water cards.
Ten books, such as "The Ultimate Official Club Penguin Guide Volume 1", "The Official Stage Playbook", "Secret Agent Handbook", "Stowaway! Adventures at Sea" and "Waddle Lot of Laughs", The Great Puffle Switch, Dancing with Cadence, Shadow Guy and Gamma Gal: Heroes Unite, Stuck on Puffles, and The Card-Jitsu Handbook are all created by the Snowball Press, also known as Club Penguin Headquarters. There is also a Club Penguin annual that comes out every year. It is only available for a limited time on the book codes page.
T.V. Series and Animated FeaturesEdit
Club Penguin owns a YouTube channel since 2011. An internet Club Penguin Animated Short series began on December 3th, 2011. It sometimes airs on Disney XD and Disney Channel. Within Global Channel TV show of the game is also rumored to be in production and coming onto TV soon (however, these rumors could be about the animated shorts).
- Rsnail came up with the idea for Club Penguin one day in 2004 while watching the news.
- Club Penguin was designed to add and update rooms forever.
- Club Penguin has had over 150 million registered users.
- In 2005-2007, news about Club Penguin spread very quickly. They never advertised at all until Disney bought Club Penguin.
- Club Penguin started out with 10 employees, but grew to over 100 by the end of 2006.
- 25,000 people log into Club Penguin every day.
- Club Penguin has more employees than Twitter.
- 200 different Club Penguin employees receive 40,000 emails every week, and they must reply to every single one of them.
- Club Penguin has a revenue of 50 million dollars.
- Club Penguin's business number is 1-888-861-4111. And their email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Club Penguin is updated at least once a week, no matter what the occasion. However, on some parties, they will update daily or every few days.
- It was known as the "Big Update" during Penguin Chat 3, but was later renamed to Club Penguin.
- The team, at first, were going to call it something like Penguin World, Penguin Land or World of Penguins. Eventually, they settled on Club Penguin, after thinking that it should be a club or community.
- The Club Penguin artists work with Adobe Photoshop on a Wacom Pen Display.
- Until July 2011, Club Penguin updated on Fridays, but now they usually update around Wednesday night/Thursday morning. However, Club Penguin will sometimes update on Friday's if they have to delay updates.
Club Penguin is currently available in five different languages.
Awards & AchievementsEdit
Club Penguin has been recognized with the following rewards:
- 2009 Webby Awards
- Wired Kids- Best of the Web Award 2009
- Parents Choice Recommended- Gold Award- 2008
- Children's Technology Review- Editor's Choice
- N.A.P.P.A. Gold 2008
- Kidspot- Best of 2008
- Entertainment Standard of Excellence- WebAwards- 2009
- BAFTA Awards- Nominee
- Better Business Bureau - Kid's Privacy Seal of Approval.
- Better Business Bureau- 2008 Torch Award
- ESRB Rating- E for Everyone
- Club Penguin Island
- Club Penguin History
- Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force (Nintendo DS/Global Disc Store)
- Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force: Herbert's Revenge (Nintendo DS/Game Stop)
- Club Penguin: Game Day! (Nintendo Wii)
- Puffle Launch App (Apple/Play Store)
- Card-Jitsu App (Apple/Play Store)
- Play Club Penguin.
- Club Penguin Entertainment Inc
- The official game tutorial.
- Wikipedia article on Club Penguin
- Club Penguin's website prior to its purchase by Disney.
- Club Penguin's pre-Disney introduction video.
Sites supporting Club PenguinEdit
Club Penguin can be played via five different websites: