Note: less research on this blog since I still remember EVERYTHING (or most things) for this. TBH, if I do need to research, I will use the Official Guide book, YouTube videos and the Wikia. Also… this post is really personal to me since Club Penguin was my jam.
For those who don’t know, Club Penguin is the first fandom I’ve ever joined in my entire life since May of 2007 (hey, that’s where my username came from). And just saying, I’ve seen how it was like when it was it’s old browser, I joined just 2 months before Disney bought the game and I was there when meeting Billybob (Lane Merrifield – one of the creators) is like achieving something in your (Club Penguin) bucket list. Like f*** meeting Gary or Aunt Artic or Rockhopper, Billybob is the real deal! And he came back online last year during the 10 year anniversary (which I couldn’t go due to HSC exams… so I needed to study my butt of for my exams).
— Club Penguin (@clubpenguin) October 24, 2015
I’ve seen things come and go, I was there when the Stage was being developed (but was then destroyed), I was there when the Dojo was basically a hub for 12 year olds saying ‘TEAM USA, USA USA!!!’ and ‘JAPAN, JAPAN, JAPAN’ and the old PSA HQ which was really simplistic and tacky and my 10 year old brain was like ‘how does one teleport when you click a tv screen?‘. I was even there when the wigs were first created, when the Hydro Hopper was originally called ‘Ballistic Biscuit’ and… oh god… so many memories!!!
Basically, you could say I’m a retired penguin since I left the game in 2012. Why? Because the game keeps changing and the old stuff that used to be there are slowly disappearing (plus I got interested in Minecraft).
But back in July, after the ‘Roast Yourself Challenge – Diss Track’ video by Danisnotonfire, a few online friends and I decided to change our usernames to our DJ names and this is what I choose for my dj name:
Yeah… once a Club Penguin trash, always a Club Penguin trash…
So for the celebration of the 11th year of Club Penguin, here are top 10 Reasons why I think Club Penguin is now bad (or at least lost it’s appeal to old players)
Note: I’ve been binge watching a few Club Penguin videos and many people agree to these reasons
10. The lost of creativity
This has to be one of my biggest pet peeve and one of the reasons that I quit the game… the fact that some of the parties are now ‘ads’ for Disney. Granted, Disney bought Club Penguin so the #spon should not hurt but… it’s it feels like these parties are highly advertised in their social media accounts. How? Because I went to the wiki to see a list of the parties in 2015 and it wasnt much but IT FELT like these were the only parties ever celebrated.
For example: What the heck was the Pi Day party about? Or Mustache Madness?! All I ever heard were the Frozen and Inside out Parties.
Back in the early days of Club Penguin, all the parties are well thought through and some are the traditional parties because we celebrate it in the real world like St Partick’s Day and Christmas. But between the traditional events, each month will have a party that either:
1. Follows in the story arch of the Club Penguin
Example: The Cove Opening party – where 2 penguins got lost after playing Jet Pack Adventure and found the forest and the cove or Music Jam – where at some point in 2008, Dj Cadence was introduced
Confession: I onced shipped Cadence and Gary… like I drew fan fiction about their ‘romance and love’. It’s weird but I was 11 years old when that happened.
2. Something to keep us entertained
Example: Camp Penguin in 2007 (aka: THE BEST PARTY EVER in my opinion)
Many of the old penguins complained about how it’s becoming more of ‘Club Disney’ rather than Club Penguin but it’s mostly because we aren’t much informed about the original parties rather than the ‘disney movie themed ones’. And I know this because I followed Club Penguin on Twitter and YouTube since 2011 and I wasn’t told about any of this.
9. The famous Penguins
Confession: All of my classmates in primary school and my entire family knows about this but… between 2008 – 2012, I had a crush for Gary the Gadget Guy. Why? Cuz he’s smart, blue, cute, funny, interesting to write a ‘self insert’ fan fic about… which I kinda did in Wattpad…
My issue with the famous penguins is that no only that they changed how they look (which I don’t mind) but the fact that finding them is easier than before. Back then, in order to find the famous characters, you need to go server jumping and be online 24/7 because anything can happen.
Want proof: In late 2008, my brother found Captain Rockhopper and I was about to take a shower. So what did I do when he called me to go online? I got a towel and played online. My mum did get mad (or confused) but CLUB PENGUIN IS MY MAIN PRIORITY!!!
I still have the wallpaper!
8. The removal of contest and polls
In the past, Club Penguin encouraged players to write their own ‘fan fiction’ for the book room for 3 years. Also at the same time, when the wigs were first introduced and when the Aqua Grabber was invented, the also added polls. Why? Community and public opinion! They want the players to have some part of the contribution in the history of the game.
Now… I highly doubt there was a single poll or contest in the game within the past few years (not in the blog or social media).
7. Their YouTube Channel
One of the reasons that I tried to tolerate Club Penguin in 2012 was because of their YouTube channel (more specifically… Happy77’s channel and a few old videos in their main channel). The reason for this is the same reason from Ben Cook’s Becoming YouTube series
“YouTube is a Conversation”
– Ben Cook
The videos gives an inside idea on how it’s like working in the main Club Penguin building and some sneak peaks of their original ideas and how they create the ‘Night of the Living Sled’ short films that are shown during the Halloween Party that it inspired me to try to become a game developer (which was a bad idea since I suck at Math and coding).
This video was the main spark that made me want to do Computer Science in University back in year 8:
Unfortunately, their current videos are now mainly ads for the game and Happy’s channel was no longer active since her departure 2012. Which sucked because I love the animations in the videos, especially ‘Never Wake a Sleeping Sensei‘
6. PSA to EPF tranformation
Another pet peeve I have with the game is how they redesigned the EPF multiple times that it no longer hidden. Like they made it exposed unlike before where the only way for you to be an agent is if you take the quiz like 30 – 100 times just to prove dedication, have a clean Club Penguin record, been in the game for 30 days and have a friend told you about it because to join, you needed to press this button:
Yes… the moderator button at the top right corner.
Here is a little ‘before and after’
I get it, it’s more ‘secret agent-ty’ and more high tech but let’s be real… who get’s prisoned in Club Penguin? This is a game where the secret agents stop bullying and BAN the penguins (or in this case, report) NOT arrest (because ordinary penguins can’t enter).
Can I also point out that in the old version, if you get banned or tarnish the agent name, you will lose your spy phone and have to take the quiz another 1000 times. I’m not sure if this part is true but this was an actual rumour and belief with some old players that I’ve encountered and this paranoia affected how we interact with each other players in the game because NO ONE WANTS TO DO THAT STUPID QUIZ OVER AND OVER AND OVER…
5. Limitations for member and non members
Ah… the main reason why many old players gave up and left… because we are limited to what we can do. I’m not joking when I say this but back in 2007 – 2012, I can play Jetpack adventure as a non member and WHOOP YOUR A** because I knew all the secrets and every path way to finish the level!!! Unfortunately thou… I need to be a member to make it to level 2 and it sucks.
What I’m trying to say here is that the game is more ‘member oriented’ now since there has been an imbalance between what members and non members could do. Normally in parties, there will be free items for all players and the clothing catalogue will have all the member items (besides the colours and wallpapers). But it seems in every party nowadays, the items considered ‘free’ are more for the members rather than the non-member players.
4. The retirement of the original creators
I highly doubt anyone cares for this one but for me, I kinda do.
The fact that the original creators left means that the game is under ‘new management’ in my eyes or more on the fact the game is passed down to a younger team who they believe ‘can innovate the game in all new ways’.
I first believed in that with their series ‘The Spoiler Alert’ where they talk about the updates of the game and some sneak peaks and stuff like that. But that series stopped and most of the conversation happens in the official club penguin blog.
TBH, there is not much argument here but rather than the fact that I liked the game better with the old staff since they did whatever it takes to make it creative and engaging as possible.
Pookies are annoying af. That’s it.
Simple reason why: They are literally attention seeking babies!
2. The removal/renovation of iconic places/soundtracks
I was there during the creation of the stage. What’s the stage you ask, it’s this place:
But then they replaced it with a… mall (or shopping centre) which to be honest, nothing much happens. You can buy the old costumes from past plays but unless you want to role play the intro scene in The Fault in our Stars, it’s just another hang out hub.
Another (which I swear to you is the biggest argument with all past players) is the renovation of the pizza parlour that no longer looks as fancy as it was before!
Before and after:
I will admit it looks good at first but it you are in a full server and you want to throw a snow ball, it’s becomes an immature playground for food fights. DID YOU KNOW that in the old pizza parlour, penguins can go on dates and have jobs and it’s all proper and formal (besides the fact that booking is annoying since penguins reserved their seat and it’s still unavailable 10 years later). And the music changed a lot. Sure, it still sounds formal but every still enjoyed the iconic Charlie’s here theme (yes, there is a name and if you use it in a yt video, you will get a copyright claim!)
1. It’s not the game… it’s us
Just like in Pokemon, as we grow up, we need to let things go and as time passes, the creators have to re-image the game and redecorate some places in order to make it more ‘fresh’ and brand new. Back then, in my point of view, the way CP was designed in the past looked like someone drew it on paper and painted it on the computer while the remodel version looks more digital and improved.
And sure, the soundtrack and places and the way things works has to change but we always need to remember that we were there at the start, we’ve seen how Club Penguin grew to what it has become today. We will always remember when World War 3 was possible just be going to the Dojo or tipping the iceberg for 1 hour = the best moments of your life or joining the ‘save the migrator’ campaign in 2008 or when you need to be fully dedicated just to find the special characters but maybe change is good (depending on who you are) and it improves the visual quality of the game but as an 18 year old, I see the game more child-friendly and less grown up due to it’s re-imaging. It’s all perky and bright that somehow made me realise that I need to leave the game and the fandom itself.
But there is something we should all know and that not all things can last forever. According to Screenhog (one of the old artist of Club Penguin) he talks about how Club Penguin will not last as long and even if they add and change many things, there will come a time where the game will end.
“Unfortunately, many virtual worlds do die this way. They get to a point where the publisher simply decides that it’s not worth maintaining or supporting them any more, and the plug is pulled…
… How? How is this possible? How can Club Penguin stick around for years and years to come? You. The community of Club Penguin fans. The thing that keeps a game like this going, more than anything else, is a committed audience. As long as there are enough people who care about the existence of something, it would be financially foolish to let them go…“
It will be sad to see Club Penguin disappear for good since it’s part of my childhood and history but Club Penguin has become a game where I could no longer recognise for what it was before when I first joined hence why me and plenty of other left the game and only come back for nostalgia purposes.
And if the game does come to the point of it’s demise, I do hope that the creators will bring back the old features that the old players love to bring back the nostalgia and the memories