Ask anyone born around 1995 or later what a Puffle is and they will most likely give you a long story about igloos, sled races, a dojo, and of course, the EPF. To those who are unaware, this universe is Club Penguin: the wonky online game that allowed us to race down ski-slopes and trapeze freely through an arctic world with our friends. Now, the last of Club Penguin is under attack.
Club Penguin occupied many hours that should’ve been spent on homework from 2005 all the way up until March of 2017. During that time, the massively popular online game geared towards adolescents between 6 and 12 garnered around 200 million user memberships at its peak. This popularity grabbed the attention of businesses like Disney, who bought Club Penguin in 2007 for $350 million.
The desktop favorite was free-to-play, but users could use real currency to make in-game purchases like a cool new Puffle. These in-game purchases initially boosted revenue for New Horizon, the owners previous to Disney, but the trend did not seem to continue. Another $350 million was promised in the 2007 deal if Club Penguin met certain membership goals by 2009, but the money was never dealt.
In January 2017, Disney announced it would be abandoning Club Penguin and replacing it with Club Penguin Island. The original shut down officially and with gusto on March 29th and the new Club Penguin Island was released. Club Penguin Island kept most of the same online and interactive features of Club Penguin but at a price. The game could now only be played with a $5 membership or during a 30-day free trial, and many devout fans were upset with the new, 3-D layout planned for the revamp.
Some particular fans decided that “just because a company pulls a plug out of a game, doesn’t mean it has to die”. These fans formed Club Penguin Rewritten (CPR), and set out to keep the game they loved alive. They rewrote the code for Club Penguin and created a replica of the game at its height, roughly around 2008. They launched their game on February 12, 2017, almost a month before the true Club Penguin shut down.
After the shutdown, CPR slowly but surely gained followers, reaching 100,000 accounts in the following April and a staggering 1,000,000 on October 4th, 2017. The company rallied behind this success, thrilled that fellow Club Penguin lovers could continue to play the game that reminded them so much of their childhoods. On October 10th, however, the developers faced a new beast: Disney itself.
Disney filed a complaint on CPR and forced them to change their domain name. All activity under the original domain has been ceased due to the complaint. CPR had been avoiding copyright violations by claiming educational purpose (which is protected under Fair Use rights). If Disney succeeds in winning the domain the wonderful world of the Club Penguin we know and love may not ever be able to return for any long period of time.
To stop this and save our childhood memories, Nikola Petkovic created a petition on Change.org to show Disney how many people truly care about saving Club Penguin Rewritten. The petition has a whopping 79,000 signatures and is growing by the minute. Help reach the goal of 150,000 signatures by Monday, Oct 30 by signing now!