Club Penguin is a kid’s MMO that features ridiculously cute and chubby penguins. It’s gotten some press in the past couple of months, especially back in April when there was speculation over acquisition by a number of much bigger companies. Well, speculation is over – Disney has shelled out $US350 million, and when the dust clears, that number could reach as high as $US700 million over the next 3 years if profits increase. Not bad for a kid’s MMO with limited advertising and a user base consisting entirely on kids dependent on their parents to cough up the monthly subscription fee.
Other than renaming the service “Disney’s Club Penguin,” Disney said it has no immediate plans to change Club Penguin’s operations, which will continue to run from Kelowna, Canada.
“Club Penguin is going to continue to exist as is,” Iger said during the company’s conference call to report quarterly earnings. “The experience will not change at all. We don’t intend to get in the way of that or do anything that would in any way have a negative impact on their business.”
Over at Terra Nova, Mike Sellers weighed in on how this might positively impact the future of browser-based MMOs: “If you were betting on a new MMO, would you bet on a scrappy, quickly deployed no-download, no-choking-on-retail, low-cost world, or one that sucks up $50M and five years on a roulette-like bet? Maybe those are the extremes, but I have to think that the bar for what might be considered to be viable worlds has just been lowered, and in a very good way.”