2017 started off on the wrong foot before it really even began.
No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States … I’m talking about Disney’s Club Penguin shutting its doors for good.
On Jan. 30, it was announced that the original inception of Club Penguin would cease to exist on March 29, leaving past and current users from around the globe feeling a sense of abject grief and confusion.
Since 2005, Club Penguin has brought joy to millions of people across the world with its countless dance parties, addictive mini games (my personal favorite being the Hydro Hopper) and igloo hangouts. Now, all that comes to mind is the old adage, “you never really know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”
In 2013, Club Penguin boasted 200 million registered accounts, but the website has reportedly seen traffic decline the last several years, leading to Disney’s decision to terminate the site and replace it with a mobile phone exclusive entitled Club Penguin Island.
Callie Barth-Dwyer, a former Club Penguin user whose handle had “something to do with Fall Out Boy,” says that while revisiting the site recently didn’t hold the same novelty it once did, she will still miss the sled races and the pizza parlor dates.
“It’s kind of sad that even if I wanted to, I could never go back and relive my Club Penguin days like I did a few months ago,” Barth-Dwyer said. “I just hope all the puffles [pets] get to live free in the wild now.”
Users have taken to creating petitions to save Club Penguin from its eventual demise, the most successful of which has garnered thousands of signatures. A user by the name of Akoos Toik has spearheaded one of the petitions on Change.org, titled “All players of Club Penguin: Save Club Penguin,” which has racked up over 6,000 backers of its 7,500 goal.
“For 11 years, fans have gathered together to play this wonderful game online with their friends, or friends that they just haven’t met yet,” Toik wrote in the petition’s description. “I myself have played for 10 years, and have spent countless hours making new friends, playing with current friends, decorating my igloo, adopting new puffles and overall having a great time. If you are a long-time player, or even a new one, please show your support to keep Club Penguin online going.”
Users have also taken to Twitter to voice their frustration over the site’s closing, using the hashtag #saveclubpenguin.
“Judgment day is drawing ever closer #saveclubpenguin,” one Twitter user said.
“People, I’m tired of hearing about politics. As a country, we need to address the real issues. We need to #saveclubpenguin today,” another Twitter user added.
Apart from all the grand measures taken to keep the website up and running, Disney and Club Penguin feel as though their jump to mobile-only devices will be beneficial for the future of the game, much to the chagrin of the game’s faithful and long time users.
Jenna Papageorgantis (Penguin name: JEFF1JEFF1) describes the site’s closure in one word: “sad.”
“It helped me learn how to save my money and buy nice things at the same time,” Papageorgantis said. “I hope Disney knows they are committing the biggest mistake they will ever make.”
As one of the final acts in site history, users took to the icebergs and ski slopes of Club Penguin to see how fast they could get banned from the site as a competitive sport.
“My main account was banned for life because I went on the Canadian servers and told everyone that Canada sucks,” Club Penguin user Joe Koza reminisced. “But, I just want to confirm that [this] doesn’t reflect my actual personal beliefs.”
Club Penguin, you will be sorely missed. Thanks for all the great memories, and I hope one day we can coexist in the same virtual plane again.
LilRob123, signing off.