Club Penguin Island: Disney launches gaming app for $ 4.99 per month


Disney’s Club Penguin – the multiplayer online game that has entertained kids for over 11 years – closed for good at 12:01 am PT on March 30.

But Disney is hoping that instead of lamenting the shutdown, announced in January, millions of fans of the game will flock to the sequel: Club Penguin Island, designed from the ground up for mobile devices. To encourage users to migrate to the new app, Disney is lowering the price. Club Penguin Island is available for a monthly subscription of $ 4.99, while Club Penguin had cost $ 7.95 per month (or $ 19.95 for three months).

Club Penguin Island retains the basic gaming base of the legacy social game, while introducing modern 3D design and enhanced features, according to Disney. In the new game, players can make friends and interact with other players, go on quests, earn special rewards, and complete daily challenges to improve their penguins.

The new game’s updated chat feature features unique emoji and 3D animations, and expands penguin customization capabilities with a range of ‘cutting-edge’ outfits and accessories.

“Club Penguin Island was designed for the next generation of gamers who grew up on mobile devices,” said Kyle Laughlin, senior vice president of applications and games for Disney consumer products and interactive media. “The new experience gives gamers the fun and social elements we know kids love, while maintaining the safety features parents trust. “

Disney acquired Club Penguin in 2007 in a deal worth up to $ 700 million – though it ultimately paid off half that amount, after Club Penguin failed to meet certain profit. The company does not disclose the number of Club Penguin subscribers, but at one point the site had 200 million registered users.

Why is Disney making such a disruptive change? Upkeep of the old Club Penguin platform was becoming prohibitive, said Jim Molinets, Disney Interactive vice president for kids and casual games. “The investment required to maintain the current version would have been enormous,” he said. “The viability of Club Penguin was our primary concern. We think he’s got a ton of legs.

Club Penguin Island also gave Disney the opportunity to optimize massively multiplayer online gaming for mobile. This meant switching from a landscape-based orientation in the old game to vertical portrait mode. “It’s hard if you’re a kid to hold a tablet in landscape mode,” Molinets said. With the new app, “kids don’t have to stretch their fingers across the tablet”.

Disney is also emphasizing the safety and security features of Club Penguin Island, which includes a new security moderation system with a chat filter. Players will have access to familiar reporting tools to allow them to self-moderate the community. (Getting kicked out of Club Penguin for bad behavior, by the way, has become a game in itself in some circles.)

The new game app was designed by the Club Penguin team in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, which is the same group that developed the original game.

“The main thing has been to provide unlimited potential for inclusive play – to allow children to connect with each other and express themselves,” said Rebecca Warden, Club Penguin Island producer at the Kelowna studio.

As part of enhancing the role-playing experience, Club Penguin Island includes a pop-up quick chat menu as “conversation starters,” Warden said. For example, if a player walks into an area with a campfire, the preset chat options might include phrases like, “Does anyone have marshmallows?” Or “Does anyone know of a ghost story?”

It was a bittersweet time for the Club Penguin crew. “A lot of people have been here from the start and they’ve really dedicated their lives to Club Penguin,” Warden said. For fans and employees, she said, “it was important to give a thoughtful and elegant goodbye.”

A longstanding tradition of Club Penguin was that somehow, with the right mix of actions, the iceberg of the game could be turned. “The kids had theorized this for literally years,” Warden said. As part of Club Penguin’s “Classic” farewell launched in February, the game’s designers finally revealed through a quiz challenge how to tip the iceberg. Players who successfully completed the task found a message underneath that said, “Together we can build an island, create a community, change the world… and even tip an iceberg.” Move on.

The Club Penguin Island app is now available on the Apple iTunes App Store (at this link) and Google Play (at this link). Users can try Club Penguin Island with a seven-day free trial. The game can be played in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Watch a promotional video for the new Club Penguin Island game:

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