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Club Penguin

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Club Penguin
The Club Penguin logo after partnering with Disney.
Platform Web Browser
Developer New Horizon Interactive
Publisher Disney Online Studios (Canada)
ESRB rating ESRB E.PNG Mild Cartoon Violence
Genre MMOG (Massive Multiplayer Online Game)
Date released 2005
Not to be confused with the mobile application or the virtual island.

Club Penguin, commonly abbreviated as CP, was a MMORPG designed for children and teenagers fourteen and under (but open and intended for all ages)[1] that was developed by New Horizon Interactive. Using cartoon penguin avatars, players can chat, play mini games, and participate in other activities with one another in a snow-covered virtual world. Club Penguin was first made available to the public on October 24, 2005 on 12:00 PM (Penguin Standard Time) and has since then expanded into a large online community. The game was shut down on March 30, 2017 at 12:00 AM (PST). Club Penguin shared similarities with other popular browser-based online environments such as RuneScape and Habbo Hotel.

Though a large amount of the game could be played for free, some of the features were not available unless a membership was purchased. These features included: upgrading and buying items for your personal igloo, buying clothes, hats, and wigs, visiting unique party rooms, playing different mini games and a lot more.[2]


3D development/mesh of a penguin avatar with a Chef Hat and Pizza Apron.


Club Penguin world

Club Penguin was essentially a chatroom that took place in a 2D world (from an isometric point of view) divided into several rooms. These rooms were either outdoor or indoor rooms. Outdoor rooms were usually more popular because getting there was easier (instantaneous transportation was available via the Map) and they offered more links to other rooms. Outdoor rooms were also the gateways to indoor rooms. Indoor rooms offered a lot to do within them; players could find books to read, minigames to play and missions to participate within.[2]


Before Club Penguin, there was a game created by Rocketsnail (Rsnail) called Penguin Chat. Penguin Chat was the game that Club Penguin was based on. In 2005 this game was closed and the players were told to move to a new game known as Club Penguin. Ever since beta testing, Club Penguin has grown to one of the most popular online games and has over 35 million users worldwide.

Penguin avatars

After registering an account, users could create their own penguin avatar and igloo, initially only choosing their color. Each penguin also owned an igloo (igloos were not located in Club Penguin proper, and could only be entered through a buddy list or the house button on a player card; if on map), and users that had paid for a membership could further decorate this igloo. Pets known as puffles could also be purchased, and they could be kept in the owner's igloo or taken for walks.

The gameplay input of Club Penguin used the mouse and the keyboard, with players clicking where they wanted to waddle to within a room. Although the whole could room can hear what one penguin says, players often waddle near their friends or to people they want to talk to.


When a person first signed up for Club Penguin they got 2 free items: the New Player Red Baseball Hat and the New Player Background. This feature was introduced on June 27, 2011.


All penguins had the privilege to chat to one another, however filters were introduced by New Horizon Interactive to prevent messages being sent that include certain blocked words. Messages appeared in speech bubbles and a history of messages within a room could be seen by clicking on a drop-down at the top of the screen. Whenever someone swore or used a swearing acronym, the message would not show up (asterisk or direct censoring was absent in Club Penguin, in order for it to not suggest spoken swear words within the game) and a pop-up message indicated that you had been banned for a certain amount of time. Safe Chat used a variety of preset messages so players could communicate safely. The Safe Chat messages were available for players with Normal Chat, in addition to the standard chat. Numbers would not show up when chatting, to ensure that players could not reveal their age or phone number to other players. When Club Penguin originally launched, there were no filters. The moderators would stay on most of the time to monitor. When they were offline, people could say inappropriate things freely. However, when the moderators logged back on, they would look at the chat history during the time they were offline. If they saw that a user said something inappropriate, they would ban them. In early 2006, the chat filters were introduced, making it easier on moderators, though te moderators still looked at the history to make sure there were no filter errors.


The Economy of Club Penguin revolved around mini-games and the coin system. Money could be earned via playing mini-games, which could be both single-player and multiplayer. Items such as clothing, furniture or pets could be bought to accommodate the lifestyle of a character in Club Penguin.


Main article: Membership

Members[3] were players who paid for extra benefits in the world of Club Penguin. Members could use coins to buy clothing, furniture and puffles - domesticated animals which were kept as pets. They also had the privileges for VIP rooms and were more recognized in Club Penguin. However, non-members could still acquire items, which were usually given out at "parties". Members could also attend exclusive parties and events and get stamps that others couldn't get. There were more things exclusive to members later on than when the game first launched. From the launch to the start of the stamps, players could play mini-games without being prompted to buy membership.


Parties were monthly events that were popular in Club Penguin. The island was usually decorated to fit the theme, and as aforementioned, free items were given to non-members. In some parties, members could gain VIP access to a special, exclusive room which was only available at the time of the party, and thereby called The Party. Parties usually last for 2 weeks, although extensions were possible.


Main article: Club Penguin Improvement Project

In Spring 2008, there was a project called CPIP when Club Penguin was upgraded to version 2. While the designers and programmers worked on the new features, penguins played the beta testing version of the new Club Penguin. The project was finished and closed on July 13, 2008.[4]


Main article: Language

Club Penguin was available in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish. The Portuguese version was released in October 2008, French in February 2009, Spanish in June 2009, German in October 2011 and Russian in February 2014. The German and Russian versions were closed on September 2, 2015.[5]


Although it had attracted some criticism, Club Penguin was for the most part well received. The Better Business Bureau gave it the “Kids' privacy seal of approval”. It has been praised for teaching children to "practice safe money-management skills".[citation needed] Club Penguin's userbase was rapidly growing up until its closing, showing that it continued to be successful.

However, concerns about the safety of Club Penguin were raised. Caitlin Flanagan from The Atlantic Monthly said Club Penguin was “certainly the safest way for unsupervised children to talk to potentially malevolent strangers — but why would you want them to do that in the first place?". Lynsey Kiely from the Sunday Independent said: “we cannot guarantee that every person who visits the site is a child." Club Penguin has also been called "childish" on numerous occasions.

Club Penguin has also been criticized for the “member’s only part of the game”[citation needed]. Non-members could not acquire certain clothing items, furniture for their igloos, new igloos or many types of puffles. Most non-member items were found in parties and given out as free items, but most of them were head items.

Club Penguin was also awarded the "Editor's Choice" award from Children's Technology Review Magazine.


Internally, Club Penguin was powered by LAMP servers for the websites. SmartFox servers were used in the game.[6]

On the administrative side, Plesk, ClickZ, WinHTTrack, The Web Developer toolbar (for Firefox), and Firebug were all used.[7]



Club Penguin has sold many merchandise such as stuffed penguins (named Plush Toys) and sets of Card-Jitsu Cards.


Several books, such as "The Ultimate Official Club Penguin Guide Volume 1", "The Official Stage Playbook", "Secret Agent Handbook", "Stowaway! Adventures at Sea" and "Waddle Lot of Laughs" have been published by Club Penguin.[8]

Applications and video games

Several video games based on Club Penguin have been produced:

Club Penguin also had several mobile applications:


  • Club Penguin's business phone number is 1-888-861-4111.
  • For the Puffle Party 2012, "Club Penguin" was crossed out and replaced with "Club Puffle".


Club Penguin logos

Other images

See also

Sources and references

  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Cp
  4. "The team finished testing and launched the new features yesterday! Thank you for all your feedback and help with this project. 2006 forever guys!" — BillyBob, CPIP Blog

External links