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Club Penguin deal works in Disney’s favor

Back in August of 2007 this whole econopalypse was still ahead of us. Disney had just decided to spend up to $700 million to buy Club Penguin, an online MMORPG for tweens and pre-tweens. They structured the deal so that half would be paid upfront, and half upon Club Penguin meeting certain goals. Enter the Great Recession and suddenly those goals were unreachable.

That’s not to say Disney didn’t try to meet them. Merchandise, Games, and marketing via Disney’s online, cable, and broadcast channels all helped the site reach year after year growth. Alas, the trick is still to get paying members contributing their $5.95 a month to get the full site access… and that’s where they fell short. International expansion efforts weren’t as successful as hoped either. Now Disney can keep that second half instead of paying it to the sites founders.

All hope is not lost. Club Penguin is still the largest ‘social network’ for kids and it’s an important part of Disney’s MMORPG lineup (Cars, Pirates, Pixie Hollow are the big three there). I know how Disney could make a lot of people happy… bring back Virtual Magic Kingdom. In the meantime, we should expect Disney to continue to be a big player in this arena.

(via the NY Times)

5 thoughts on “Club Penguin deal works in Disney’s favor”

  1. I’m with you, bring back VMK :) As you know, my girls play Pixie Hollow but I can’t seem to spend as much time in the Hollow as I did in VMK

  2. Love that you mentioned VMK. I have often wondered how VMK would have held up over the past two years had they not closed it.

    I have played ALL of the other Disney MMORPG’s and none of them have held my interest for long. Least of which was Club Penguin. Where was the Disney magic in that game anyway?

  3. Another vote for VMK. It was such a brilliantly-conceived promotional device for the Parks. I’m still kind of amazed that they let go of it, staffing/licensing issues notwithstanding.

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