Everyone's favorite penguin game (unless you were the sole purchaser of Happy Feet for the Wii), Club Penguin has had its plug pulled. The game's been slipping for a few years—28 employees were made redundant in 2015 and its UK office got shut down, and further lay-offs hit its teams in 2016. But confirming suspicions that something fishy was going on, Disney officially announced, at the end of January, that its game would be discontinued on March 29th 2017, 12 years after it came online.
And just like that, my first-ever MMO has been melted away by Disney's virtual grit truck, reduced to old accounts and blurry screenshots.
The announcement probably shouldn't have made me as low as it has. I mean, I haven't played the game for about ten years, and it's only really been on my digital radar in recent times through the "throw one more snowball at me" fake ban memes. The truth is that Club Penguin shutting down has given me the same kind of aching sadness, the same loss of innocence, as watching your prize snowman melt on a sunny morning as a kid.
As tragic as it may seem, it defined part of my childhood and basically introduced me to online gaming. It was such a craze when I nine or ten that my teachers would dedicate the final five minutes of the school day to letting the class work out what server we were logging onto, and at what time (before mum made tea, obviously).
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