Tipping The Iceberg
As a child, sophomore Oakley Blake played “Club Penguin” regularly. When he discovered that the popular web game will be shutting down on March 29 as part of its transition to an app, “Club Penguin Island,” he said he was disappointed.
“It was the only thing that I really played,” Blake said. “It’s really upsetting because, you know, it’s something that I did during my childhood. And it’s sad to hear they’re taking it away solely so they can promote other platforms.”
“Club Penguin” is certainly not the first website to make this transition; in recent years, several popular websites such as Google, YouTube and Poptropica have created apps. Business teacher Theresa Kane said this is largely because companies can expand their outreach by changing to mobile platforms.
“If they hit the market with a software that runs on Androids and iPhones, then they will sell more and reach more people. Everybody has a cell phone now (whereas not everybody has a computer), and everybody uses a cell phone throughout the day and in the evening, so it’s going to be much more accessible,” Kane said.
However, “Club Penguin” is unique in the fact that, unlike other companies, Disney has decided to shut down the website in order to fully endorse the app. Sophomore Victoria “Tori” Moss plays Club Penguin and said she does not approve of Disney’s decision.
“I think it’s not a very good business decision, and they won’t get as many users because so many people are used to it being on desktop, and they won’t want to switch to an app, because it’s a whole different way of gameplay,” Moss said.
Kane said she also does not understand why the website cannot be kept open alongside the app.
“They could really do both; they could go with the mobile application, and they could keep their website open, so I’m not for sure on why they would close, unless they wanted to encourage people to buy an application,” Kane said.
But Blake said he does not want to dwell on the specific reasons for the change and prefers to appreciate the memories he has of playing “Club Penguin.”
“It shaped me to become the person that I am today,” Blake said. “It was just a part of my childhood, and it’s something that I will never forget.”
(Left) Ratings that another popular game on a website, Poptropica, received in its app form.
(Right) Several possible features of the Club Penguin app.
Graphics by Sameen Siddiqui, Sam Shi & Amber Zhao
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