The mobile game known as Club Penguin Island is officially shutting down. On Tuesday, September 26th, Disney laid off the team for Club Penguin Island at Disney Canada in Kelowna, British Columbia. This sudden halt of all activity for the team is due to a multitude of things that have been slowly building up behind the scenes for years since the shutdown of the original Club Penguin.
The game is still active as of this date, and gamers will be notified via in-game messages on future updates as the game comes to its close. The official statement from Disney can be read on their blog located here. It’s unclear what will happen to many of the employees. The were relieved of their positions with five weeks of severance and benefits for one month while they relocate or find a different job. It’s been stated that many might op to leave Kelowna due to the lack of gamer oriented jobs in the area.
Disney addresses the layoffs as a means to cut costs in the face of competition. They stated that they have explored many options to increase efficiency and reduce costs, but in the end it was better to cut back on the workforce.
Club Penguin has been around for some 13 years. While I myself have never played it, I recall my brother loving it, and I enjoyed watching and listening to him take delight in the game. It was a community for children that gave them the sense of freedom on the internet while still being in a safe space.
I’m sad to see yet another team be let go so suddenly. It seems to be a very sad theme for this week. I wish the best for the employees and hope they find good work soon.